Spanish court upholds snap Madrid poll in May

Spanish court upholds snap Madrid poll in May
Photo: (L-R) Madrid mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, Spanish People's Party (PP) leader Pablo Casado and Madrid regional government president Isabel Diaz Ayuso. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP
Spanish judges have decided to maintain a snap poll in the region around Madrid in May that a firebrand conservative figure has termed a choice "between Socialism and freedom".

The top regional court “rejected” an 11th-hour petition by local lawmakers to suspend their parliament’s dissolution, a statement said, paving the way for a new vote on May 4.

At stake are relations between the leader of Madrid’s regional government Isabel Diaz Ayuso and her rightwing Popular Party (PP) with the smaller centre-right Ciudadanos.

Diaz Ayuso is a rising but controversial figure within the PP who has relatively little political experience, and who resigned and called the snap poll to clarify relations with Ciudadanos.

READ MORE: Madrid’s divisive leader Ayuso quits and calls early regional election

She sprang the move last week after Ciudadanos filed a no-confidence motion against the PP in another region, saying she expected the same to happen with her.

The two parties have coalition agreements in four of Spain’s 17 regions and in several municipalities, raising questions as to whether they would survive.

On Sunday the court ruled on no-confidence motions filed by leftwing parties that were aimed at blocking the regional parliament’s dissolution.

Diaz Ayuso, who has led fierce opposition to the central government’s pandemic restrictions, said the snap polls would allow voters to choose “between Socialism and freedom”.

The regional court upheld her authority to dissolve the legislative body and call for fresh elections, where were maintained on the scheduled date.

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