Two radical Basque parties barred from elections

9th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

Spain's top court rules that ETA-linked Democracy Three Million and Askatasuna parties are not allowed to run in regional elections.

MADRID – Spain's supreme court backed Sunday a government request to bar two Basque pro-independence parties from regional elections next month, judicial sources said.

The justices "have annulled the candidacies of the D3M and Askatasuna" in the 1 March elections, the sources told AFP.

The government and prosecutors charged that Democracy Three Million (D3M) and Askatasuna have links to the armed Basque separatist group ETA and its political arm Batasuna, which the court outlawed in 2003.

Anti-terrorist Judge Baltasar Garzon is to hand down a separate decision Tuesday on whether to suspend the parties' political activities.

Radical Basque separatist parties draw support from approximately 10 percent of Spain's Basque voters.

Spanish courts blocked two radical Basque parties, PCTV (Party of Basque Lands) and ANV (Nationalist Basque Action), from running in legislative elections last March over alleged links to ETA.

ETA, which is on the European Union's list of banned terrorist groups, has been blamed for the deaths of 825 people in a four-decade campaign for an independent Basque homeland straddling northern Spain and part of southwestern France.

[AFP / Expatica]

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