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Spanish PM Calls Snap Election Following Results of Regional, Local Polls

In this handout image made available by La Moncloa on May 29, 2023, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid as he called a snap election for July.

Spain’s prime minister called early general elections on Monday after unsatisfactory results in regional and local elections Sunday.

Speaking on national television, Pedro Sanchez said he would dissolve parliament and Spain would hold snap elections on July 23.

“I have taken this decision given the results of the elections held yesterday,” Sanchez said, speaking from the Moncloa presidential palace.

"Although yesterday's elections had a local and regional scope, the meaning of the vote conveys a message that goes beyond that. That is why, as both prime minister and PSOE's secretary-general, I take personal responsibility for the results," Sanchez said.

Sanchez said he had spoken to King Filipe VI about the decision and would hold an emergency Cabinet meeting later Monday to dissolve parliament.

The results of regional elections showed the Spanish electorate swinging to the right with the Popular Party winning 31.5% of the vote, while Sanchez’s Socialists - PSOE - Spanish Socialist Workers' Party - and its ally Podemos took 28.2%.

The PP won seven municipalities of the 12 contested, and dominated in several regions previously won by PSOE, including Valencia, Aragon and La Rioja.

It remains to be seen, however, whether PP will form regional governments alone, or have to enter a coalition with the far-right Vox party.

Some information of this report came from Agence France-Presse, The Associated Press and Reuters.