Moments ago, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the dissolution of the parliament after his coalition, which comprises the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos suffered preliminary losses in regional elections today.
The opposition conservative People’s Party (PP) and the far-right Vox, and the liberal Citizens (CS), were making steady gains after polls closed yesterday. However, an official count has not been announced.
This announcement comes in sharp contrast to two previous pledges that he would not dissolve the parliament early and call for snap elections before the natural turnover slated in November, 2023. The previous election was held on 10 November 2019, which means that the legislature’s term will expire on 10 November 2023.
Following his party’s defeat in the Madrilenian regional election held on 4 May 2021, Pedro Sánchez commented that there were still “32 months to go” until the election, throwing media into a frenzy since that put the election date in January 2024, instead of the expected November date. However, On 2 August 2022, Sánchez clarified by announcing that the election would be held in December 2023, a position reiterated on 27 March 2023 when he said that there were still “nine months left” in the current parliamentary term.
This decision to dissolve the parliament and hold snap elections is unexpected. However, it is worth noting that this is not a similar situation to Peru or Ecuador which are constitutionally controversial. In Spain, The prime minister can dissolve both chambers at any given time—either jointly or separately—and call a snap election, as long as there is motion of no confidence is in process, no state of emergency is in force and that dissolution does not occur within one year of a previous election. Also, both chambers can be dissolved if a prime minister is not elected after a two month period. The Spanish parliament has been dissipated five times since 2011 by both the king and prime minister.
The 2023 Spanish general election will now be held on Sunday, 23 July 2023, to elect the 15th Cortes Generales of Spain. All 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies will be up for election, as well as 208 of 265 seats in the Senate.