Spain: Controversies in the General Elections

This post is part of our special coverage Europe in Crisis.

The PP (Popular Party) of Spain won the recent elections with an ample majority. After 100% of the ballots were counted, the neoliberal party claimed the victory. The attendees of the celebration at Génova Street in Madrid (where the PP's general headquarter is located) gave a taste of what's to be expected from now on in Spain: social cuts and employment cuts, in order to make their constituents and the markets happy.

Let's not forget that the number of abstentions and blank votes reached 10,000,000 to thus become the second political force in the country, even though this is not reflected in the results or the mainstream media.

@VicenteVallesTV: Gritos de “quita el aborto” mientras Rajoy habla en el balcón de Génova.

@VicenteVallesTV: Screams saying “down with abortion” while Rajoy gives a speech at the Génova balcony.*

During the day, there were also various controversies. Many voting booths received members of the mareaverde [es] (Green Wave – public education defenders against cuts of teachers and education); when they approached to vote with a green t-shirt they were not allowed to exercise their right [es], because they were violating the act sent by the Electoral Board that warns officials from carrying slogans to voting centers, although it doesn't mention anything about the voters themselves.

T-shirts forbidden at various voting tables.

@democraciareal#votodenuncia La Junta Electoral da orden de prohibir votar a quien lleve #camisetaverde #20n #mareaverde #votar #mesas20n

@democraciareal: #votodenuncia [complaint vote] The Electoral Board forbids voting to those who wear #camisetaverde [green t-shirt]#2on #mareaverde #votar #mesa2on

“If a voter goes to his/her voting table and is not allowed to vote because he/she is wearing a green wave t-shirt, the person has two options: Take off the t-shirt or present a complaint and leave without voting”, commented a voting table spokesperson.

Also, there was another incident reported where voters of a pro-animal rights political party (PACMA) didn't have ballots [es] to vote. Therefore, a representative of the Interior Ministry had to personally check the irregularities at the voting center, where the president firmly denied signing the complaint saying: “I don't sign for any anti-bullfighting.”

At least twice journalists were expelled from the voting booths [es] because the presidents did not want to be photographed, even though the photographers explained they were only taking pictures of the congressmen who went to vote.

In recent weeks there was an endless number of counter-campaign strategies, like the calling of the hacktivist group Anonymous using the hashtag #Op20N to “hack the elections” telling people to vote against the bipartisanship between PP and PSOE (Popular Party and Spanish Socialist Labor Party) [es] or vote blank. There was also Doriyakitu [es], a campaign that urged voters to present complaints against the system based on the Article 19 of the Electoral Law arguing an infringement of political pluralism, or the unfairness of the electoral law (D'hont Method ), among other issues.

You can check the results of the 2011 general elections on the official web page [es]

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