Regional election in Madrid: playing hardball
The people of Madrid elect a new regional parliament tomorrow. The current president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso of the conservative People's Party (PP), ordered a snap election after ending a coalition with the liberal Ciudadanos party. Ayuso is the favourite according to the polls and has said she would be willing to form a coalition with the far-right Vox party. Commentators focus on the way the election campaign was conducted.
A nasty aftertaste
This rowdy election campaign in which Vox fuelled tensions with xenophobic posters and several politicians received anonymous death threats has damaged the country's democracy, laments La Vanguardia:
“The campaign for the May 4 election has left a nasty aftertaste. It is likely that tomorrow the PP candidate [Ayuso] will win and govern with or without Vox's support. It is possible, but less likely according to the polls, that a leftist majority will emerge. But to get to this result, we have had to endure a harsh and discriminatory election campaign in which the country's democratic culture has lost ground.”
Campaigning with bullfights
The easing of anti-Covid measures is unfortunately also part of the election campaign, La Stampa criticises:
“At 6 pm, the Plaza de Toros in Madrid filled up again [for the traditional fight on May 2]. This has not happened for almost two years. There are 6,000 spectators instead of the usual 23,000, but the bullfighter Ponce is very excited. In the stands, however, the protagonist is someone else: Isabel Díaz Ayuso, 'la presidenta' [of the Community of Madrid], who had pressured for Madrid to reopen its bullfights in a dispute with the Ministry of Health. ... Tomorrow the polls open and Ayuso, the surprise star of the Spanish right, is ahead, betting on an unprecedented surge of nationalism in the capital, the epicentre of 'freedom' (that's the slogan), against the closures and restrictions pushed for by the left-wing government.”