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Spain far-right Vox party gains foothold in Andalusia election

Image copyrightReuters Image captionVox's leader Santiago Abascal (l) and regional candidate Francisco Serrano celebrated their win on Sunday                 A far-right…

 Spain's far-right VOX party leader Santiago Abascal and regional candidate Francisco Serrano celebrates results after the Andalusian regional elections in Seville

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Vox’s leader Santiago Abascal (l) and regional candidate Francisco Serrano celebrated their win on Sunday

A far-right party has won seats in a regional regional election for the first time since the country’s military dictatorship ended in 1


The Vox party took 12 parliamentary seats in Andalusia on Sunday, beating expectations that it would win Five.

Tough on immigration and Catalan separatism, Vox could be a kingmaker in a future coalition in Andalusia.

The governing socialist party still won more than any other party – 33 seats – but with a greatly reduced majority. 19659007] It may try to form a coalition with the left-wing Podemos, two fend off the center and far-right in the 109-seat parliament.

Vox’s breakthrough in Spanish politics is the latest in a nationalist surge that has swept across Europe. Many thought Spain was immune, because memories of life under a fascist dictatorship are still relatively fresh.

France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen tweeted (in French) : “Strong and warm congratulations to my Friends of Vox, who tonight in Spain scored a meaningful result for such a young and dynamic movement. “

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Vox supporters protested against Catalan separatists in the capital Madrid on Saturday

The regional result could affect Spain’s new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, reports the El Mundo, as his socialist party’s defeat and the government’s weakness could increase pressure on him to call early elections.

Who are Vox?

Founded in 2014, the party struggled for a long time to make an impact on Spain’s political landscape.

Vox has been derided as far-right and populist, anti-immigrant and anti- Islam but its leader Santiago Abascal believes its recent surge of support is because it is “in step with what millions of Spaniards think.”

Its leaders reject the far-right label, insisting it is a party of “extreme necessity” rather than extremism.

The party proposes to “make Spain great again” and critics have described its ideology as a nationalist throwback to the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

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