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The nationalists break their electoral ceiling with 54 parliamentarians and achieve the most nationalist Chamber in history

BILBAO, 21 Abr.

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The nationalists break their electoral ceiling with 54 parliamentarians and achieve the most nationalist Chamber in history


The Basque nationalist parties, PNV and EH Bildu, have broken their electoral ceiling of 52 parliamentarians by obtaining a total of 54 representatives on April 21. The photograph of the new regional Chamber that was elected this Sunday at the polls will be unprecedented, becoming the most nationalist in history.

Tonight's electoral event has resulted in a tie between both formations at 27 seats, although the Jeltzales have managed to win by the minimum number of votes, with a difference of around 29,000 votes.

This rise of nationalism, driven by a rising EH Bildu that has not stopped growing lately election after election, occurs at a time in which the nationalists seem to have more modulated their sovereignist messages, in favor of management, when there is a special concern of the Basques for public services, especially for Osakidetza, until now "the jewel in the crown", which citizens consider to have been "deathly wounded" during the pandemic.

The PNV does not renounce its independence essence, but from "realism", as it assures, with the conviction that "the Basque nation is built day by day." The phrase of the new candidate for lehendakari jeltzale, Imanol Pradales, that he is "an independentist with his feet on the ground", well defines his position, aware, in addition, of the plurality of Basque society and that a large part of its electorate does not want independence.

The idea of ​​political pluralism in Euskadi also seems to be permeating EH Bildu, which now seems to flee from dogmatism to embrace pragmatism. Especially significant are the words of its general coordinator, Arnaldo Otegi, that they have no "anxiety" or "excessive hurry to achieve independence."

That is the path chosen by the candidate for the Lehendakaritza of the sovereignist formation, Pello Otxandiano, who in national matters, proposes taking "a qualitative leap" in self-government, through a presentation that will be presented in Parliament in the first quarter of the legislature.

Precisely, it is this modulation that bore fruit in fattening PNV voters with voters from other non-independence parties and those that are now behind the success of EH Bildu, whose past with respect to ETA no longer penalizes it in any way. the polls, and with a commitment from youth for this ballot.

All of this is accompanied by a decreasing pro-independence drive among Basque citizens, which is currently at a minimum. The latest sociometer of the Basque Government, considered the Basque CIS, confirms that only 22% of the population unequivocally supports independence.

Similar figures reflect other surveys, such as the Euskobarómetro, and all of them indicate that support for independence has been falling in the last decade, even among the voters of the nationalist parties, although in those of the PNV it has never been a majority.

In fact, in 2014 not even half of Jeltzales voters (47%) were completely in favor of the independence of Euskadi and this percentage has now fallen to 17%. Those who vote for EH Bildu are more pro-independence, although they have also fallen in ten years from 86% to 55%.

It is in this context that the PNV and EH Bildu (despite the drop in jeltzales) will gather more parliamentarians than ever in the Chamber, when there are also only two nationalist parties in Parliament, after historically there have been more nationalist acronyms , like EA, Aralar or Euskadiko Ezkerra, in the first elections.

The different nationalist brands have almost always exceeded 40 seats, with a ceiling of 52. Since the 1980 elections, the first in democracy after the Franco dictatorship, the Parliament of Euskadi has been largely nationalist, except in 2009, when the The nationalist left was outlawed, and the non-nationalist parties surpassed them in three seats (38 compared to 35).

It was then when, despite the PNV obtaining a large majority, the socialist Patxi López won the Lehendakaritza with the votes of the PP, after a tense legislature with the Ibarretxe Plan on the table, which was approved in the Basque Parliament in December. of 2004 with the support of half of the parliamentarians of Sozialista Abertzaleak (the then brand of the IA), that is, three, those necessary for the 'Proposal for a Political Statute of the Community of Euskadi' to go ahead. In 2005, the Congress of Deputies rejected it.

Precisely, in the first autonomous elections of the 1980s was when the nationalist forces obtained the most seats (only on that occasion there was a Chamber with a total of 60 parliamentarians), reaching 70% of the Parliament with the sum of 42 representatives, while the formations did not abertzales achieved a total of 18.

Since the 1986 elections, 75 seats have been distributed in the Basque elections and the parliamentary majority has always been nationalist, except in 2009, when with the illegalization of AI they only obtained 35, the lowest figure in history. Except on that occasion and in 2005, when the Abertzales surpassed the absolute majority by just one seat (obtaining 39), they have always been above 40 seats.

Their electoral ceiling had until now been 52 parliamentarians, which they achieved for the first time in 1986 and repeated in 2020, which represented 69.3% of the representation of the Chamber, very close to the percentage they reached in 1980.

The photo of the Basque Parliament that appears this Sunday, April 21, 2024, will therefore be unprecedented, since nationalism has never achieved so much representation.

The large pro-sovereignty majority in the Autonomous Chamber could lead to the self-government proposal being put back into action in this new legislature, which was left in the drawer during the last term. EH Bildu has already proposed that it be reactivated in the first quarter.

This presentation began in 2014, after the proposal in this regard by Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu in his first general policy debate in September 2013 to achieve a broad transversal consensus, which included nationalists and non-nationalists.

In 2017 it was recovered to update self-government, and in 2018, PNV and EH Bildu reached a document on the Basis of the Political Status of Euskadi, in order to establish the precepts for the drafting of an articulated text. Later, he was ignored by the jeltzale formation.

That document, which EH Bildu now proposes to recover together with the PNV, referred to a new 'Political Status' for the Community of Euskadi, which recognizes the "right to decide" of the Basque people, its recognition as a nation, and the establishment of a bilateral system of relations with the State of a confederal nature.

In addition to defending the ability of the Basque people to decide their 'political status', he also advocated for their ability to call consultations to ascertain the will of the Basque people regarding the form of their relationship with the State. The text included its ratification in a referendum by the Basques.

The drafting of a reform of the Statute of Gernika was entrusted to a committee of experts, made up of five jurists appointed by the parties represented in the Chamber - PNV, EH Bildu, PSE, Podemos and PP -, with several documents finals on the table.

A very important part of the articles was prepared by the experts from PNV, PSE-EE and Elkarrekin Podemos - which reflected decisive discrepancies on the right to decide -, from which those from EH Bildu and the Popular Party distanced themselves, who presented their own documents. The parties concluded the work, which remained on stand-by, and did not continue during the last legislature.