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Spanish elections: There will be no third round Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Spanish Culture, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos

If you have been following the news on politics, you’ll know that in addition to the US Elections scheduled for November 8th, and to the referendum in Colombia, in Spain we have had to repeat elections in July 2016 due to the impossibility to agree on a coalition government [gobierno de coalición] by all the minority forces [fuerzas minoritarias]. Let’s take advantage of this situation to learn more vocabulary related to politics and elections.

The form of government in Spain is a parliamentary monarchy [monarquía parlamentaria], that is, a representative, democratic,constitutional monarchy [una monarquís representativa, democrática y constitucional] in which the monarch [el rey] is the head of state [el jefe de Estado], while the prime minister [el primer ministro]— whose official title [título oficial] is “president of the Government” [Presidente del Gobierno] — is the head of government [el jefe de gobierno].

Spain’s political system [sistema político español] is a multi-party system [sistema multipartidista], but since the 1990s, two parties have been predominant in politics, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) [Partido Socialista Obrero Español] and the People’s Party (PP) [Partido Popular]. In both rounds of elections for this period, the PP got the largest number of votes, but not the majority of representatives. The second force was the PSOE, in December 2015, and in July 2016, the newly formed party Podemos [We can].

To cut the long story short, the only possibility now to avoid having to vote for the third time in a year was that the PSOE would not vote against the PP, but force the abstention [la abstención] of their representatives in the Parliamentary election of a President. After a month of internal party divisions and (some argue) even a coup [un golpe de estado], the PSOE has finally agreed to facilitate the investiture of Mariano Rajoy as President of the Government for another four-year period.

We have a video reporting this for the Spanish news agency EuroNews.

Permitir que gobierne Mariano Rajoy y evitar así unas terceras elecciones en España mediante una abstención. Es la opción que ha salido vencedora este domingo tras la votación realizada por el Comité Federal del Partido Socialista Obrero Español. La posición abstencionista ha ganado claramente por 43 votos, pero refleja la división que se vive en el partido que dirige una comisión gestora presidida por Javier Fernández.

Yo no veo que eso tenga que ser algo vergonzante. Ya me han escuchado ustedes decir que abstenerse no es apoyar, el Partido Socialista llega a esa conclusión por… después de un profundo debate y en una situación muy difícil, lo hemos comentado en otros momentos, que tiene que ver con la inexistencia de gobierno.

Este lunes el rey volverá a celebrar una ronda de consultas con los portavoces parlamentarios para designar el candidato a la investidura. Consultas que culminarán el martes a las tres y media con la audiencia con Mariano Rajoy en el Palacio de la Zarzuela.

La decisión tomada este domingo por el Comité Federal del PSOE cuenta con la desaprobación de buena parte de la militancia, que al igual que el dimitido Pedro Sánchez, se muestra partidaria de mantener un No rotundo hacia el gobierno de Rajoy.


Vocabulary recap

  • Terceras elecciones: third elections
  • abstención: abstention
  • opción: option, alternative
  • vencedora: winner (vs. perdedora: looser)
  • posición abstencionista: abstention position
  • división: division, split
  • comisión gestora: managing committee
  • ronda de consultas: round of consultations
  • portavoces parlamentarios: parliamentary spokespeople
  • candidato: candidate
  • investidura: investiture (on inauguration day)
  • audiencia: hearing
  • desaprobación: disapproval, rejection
  • militancia: militancy members, affiliates
  • partidaria: favorable to, supportive of
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About the Author: Paula

Born in Buenos Aires, living in Barcelona, I mostly write about cultural topics in Spanish from Spain and Latin America.


  1. mohammad sadeghi:

    Dear Paula,
    It seems to have to be ” know ” instead for “now” in your post about spanish election.

    many thanks for your very good job and with respect

    mohammad sadeghi