Spanish election For Members

'Que te vote Txapote': The divisive slogan at the heart of Spain's election

Alex Dunham
Alex Dunham - [email protected]
'Que te vote Txapote': The divisive slogan at the heart of Spain's election
Vox and PP supporters have popularised the slogan 'Que te vote Txapote'. (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP)

This controversial slogan is being used by Spain's right wing as a way of criticising Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. This is what it means and why it is such a loaded expression.


Que te vote Txapote means ‘Let Txapote vote for you’. 

Over the past few months it’s become a political slogan used by politicians and supporters of Spain’s right-wing Popular Party and far-right Vox.

It’s been plastered across huge banners in the street, printed on T-shirts and chanted by thousands of people in a bullring at Pamplona’s San Fermín festival.

Txapote is the nickname of Francisco Javier García Gatzelu, a convicted terrorist responsible for the murder of several politicians and numerous other crimes whilst serving as one of the heads of the now-disbanded Basque separatist group ETA.

Txapote on trial in Madrid in 2011. (Photo by FERNANDO ALVARADO / POOL / AFP)

Spain’s right wing has for some time now accused Pedro Sánchez of supporting Catalan and Basque separatist parties in order to hold onto power, giving the two regions favourable treatment.

He has the parliamentary support of Basque nationalist party EH Bildu, the successor to the political wing of ETA.

Sánchez has also sought to calm territorial tensions following the attempted 2017 Catalan independence push, pardoning nine of the jailed leaders who led the referendum and again favouring Catalan politicians by scrapping the crime of sedition and modifying the crime of misuse of public funds.

For Spanish nationalists, this is unforgivable and “leaves the State unprotected” from another potential separatist coup.

READ MORE: Why Spain's right is vehemently opposed to changes to sedition law


That’s effectively what Que te vote Txapote refers to; get a separatist terrorist to vote for you because we certainly won’t. 

The slogan was first used in September 2022 by a man who wrote it on a placard during a visit by Pedro Sánchez to the southern city of Seville. A Europa Press photographer caught it on camera and it started to become increasingly popular. 

Once the populist PP regional leader of Madrid Isabel Díaz Ayuso used it, Que te vote Txpote took off.

During the only one-to-one debate between Sánchez and opposition leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo on Monday, Sánchez asked the PP frontman if he condemned the usage of the Que te vote Txapote slogan by his party, reading a tweet of the sister of one of Txapote’s victims who said “Would you like a slogan with the name of your parents’ and siblings’ murderer to become fashionable?”. 

READ ALSO: Sánchez vs Feijóo - Who won Spain's election debate standoff?


Spain’s Victims of Terrorism Collective (COVITE) have accused the PP and Vox of “trivialising terrorism and terrorists” with the expression, although others who lost family members to ETA have come out and supported its usage being that it represents freedom of expression and it was "born from public sentiment". 

ETA, which stands for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Homeland and Liberty), operated from 1959 until 2018 and killed more than 850 people in countless terrorist attacks, from kidnapping and murdering politicians to planting bombs in a shopping centre. 

You can expect to hear Que te vote Txapote a lot on TV in Spain in the leadup to the snap elections on July 23rd. 

Whatever your political affiliations, be aware that this is a loaded expression which you should not use lightly.

READ ALSO: Is Spain's right wing definitely going to win the general election?


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also