Aznar dissolves parliament as poll race begins
19 January 2004
MADRID – Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar dissolved parliament Monday in preparation for the general election in March.
The general election will be held on 14 March – a date announced ten days ago.
But according to protocol, Aznar held an extraordinary meeting of the ruling centre-right Popular Party’s council of ministers.
He then informed the King of his decision to hold elections. The King, as head of state, then formally dissolves parliament.
The official state bulletin will publish the date of the election Tuesday and also fix the date for the start of the election campaign on 27 February.
The election campaign, which is only two weeks long, will stop on 12 March.
Spain then has a day of reflection, before the country goes to the polls on 14 March.
The list of candidates will be officially announced on the 16 February and published in the state bulletin on 17 February.
Once the election is over, the new parliament has to be established within 25 days, under the terms of the Spanish Constitution.
This will be the ninth general election held in Spain since the death of the dictator Franco and the establishment in 1978 of the modern, democratic Spanish constitution.
The new government will govern for four years.
The ruling PP are expected to win the election with polls putting them up to 11 points ahead of the main opposition socialist PSOE party.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news