PNV accuses opponents of coalition 'coup'

5th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Basque Socialist Party efforts to form a government in the region have been termed as an ‘institutional coup’ by the Basque Nationalist Party.

MADRID – The incumbent Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) said Wednesday that efforts by the Socialists to form a government in the troubled Basque region after weekend polls amounted to an "institutional coup".

While the PNV won the most seats in the 75-seat Basque assembly in Sunday's polls, the Socialists and two other non-nationalist parties won a combined majority for the first time since the chamber was created in 1980.

Patxi Lopez, the leader of the Basque Socialist Party which came in second in the election, has said he would seek support in the assembly to be elected president of the Basque government. The conservative Popular Party (PP) has already indicated that it is willing to back him for the post.

"Institutional destabilisation stems from these types of games, the only goal of some parties is create an institutional coup, a coup in the sense that the results of the elections are what they are, and they show the PNV is the winner," PNV leader Inigo Urkullu told a news conference.

The PNV, which has ruled the Basque region since it gained its own assembly in 1980, boosted the number of seats it has in the assembly by one to 30 seats but failed to secure an absolute majority due to a disappointing show by its smaller nationalist coalition partners.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialist Party won 24 seats, up from 18, in the polls and could see the number of seats rise to 25 once ballots from abroad are counted.

The PP captured 13 seats and the smaller centrist UPD party won one seat.

The PNV leader said he would meet with Socialist Party representatives. It will probably take weeks of negotiations before a new Basque government emerges.

The wealthy region bordering France has been wracked by decades of separatist violence with the armed separatist group ETA blamed for 825 deaths in its 40-year campaign for an independent Basque homeland.

AFP / Expatica

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