• Direct. Last minute about the coronavirus crisis
  • Elections: Galicia and the Basque Country warn that half a thousand infected by Covid-19 will not be able to vote
  • The map: Coronavirus outbreaks in Spain

Galicia and the Basque Country face the strangest elections in their history this Sunday, with voters confined to their homes, electoral tables in the streets and an extensive police and auxiliary personnel device to avoid the crowds before the schools, which were once held as sign of participation in the party of democracy.

The liturgy of an electoral day has been transformed into a state of sanitary semi-alarm, with outbreaks such as La Mariña ( Lugo ) or Ordizia ( Guipúzcoa ), which accumulate hundreds of positives, and the appearance of new ones, such as one this Friday in Vitoria .

The presidents who are seeking re-election, Alberto Núñez Feijóo and Iñigo Urkullu, have ensured that the right to vote is guaranteed, although there will be exceptions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This Friday, the Basque Health Department prohibited almost 200 infected people from voting, in application of what was decided by the Central Electoral Board, which has ruled out partial suspensions of the elections - as requested by some parties in La Mariña - but has endorsed that "small segments of the population for sanitary reasons sufficiently justified" cannot vote so that they do not exercise the right to vote. In Galicia, the number of affected is 259.

Feijóo: "Lend us 15 minutes and vote"

In addition to these limitations, the effect that the situation may have on participation is unknown, particularly in the population most vulnerable to the coronavirus, such as the elderly, traditional voters of the PP and the PSOE in Galicia, and of these same parties and the PNV in the Basque Country. "To all those people who can enter a store, a restaurant, a cafeteria, people who can even, in moderation and with security, enjoy nightlife, I suggest that they lend us 15 minutes to Galicia and go to vote, "said Feijóo in view of the fear that part of the population (and its electorate) may have of going to polling stations due to contagion risks, the consequences of which on the electoral result would be uncertain.

A low participation could turn the polls around, which foresee a devastating victory for the PP in Galicia and the PNV in the Basque Country. It is, in fact, the only thing you can do, based on data from all published surveys. This fear of abstention has settled in the popular Galicians in recent days. The same occurs in the Basque Country, where the PNV and EH Bildu are particularly concerned.

Neighbors of Ordizia (Guipúzcoa), with mask.EFE

Like Feijóo, the PNV president, Andoni Ortuzar, appealed this Friday also in the last campaign act to participate in the elections: "There are people who can have prevention to go to vote. There are those who, also, irresponsibly because they prefer abstention to defeat, they are getting scared. Don't be afraid. Voting is safe. I will go. "

The measures to ensure security in the exercise of the right to vote will vary. Specific rules have been established for the citizens under observation, it is recommended to take the vote from home to stay as little time as possible in schools, there are cases in which tables will be placed in the streets (as in Ordizia, one of the focus of Covid-19 in the Basque Country) and priority will be given to the elderly and other risk groups.

BNG, second force in Galicia?

The fear of abstention seems, however, that it has grown especially in the Galician PP. Older people are a devoted party niche of votes, so a possible demobilization out of fear of the coronavirus shakes many popular leaders .

Feijóo has precisely made its crisis management one of its campaign axes - Galicia was the first community to access the new normality - but the La Mariña outbreak has put the community at the center of the wave of outbreaks and opposition parties have fueled doubts calling for the suspension of the elections in the affected regions.

The Socialists, on the other hand, face the examination of the management of the pandemic of the Government of Pedro Sánchez. Their progress in the polls was halted in March, when the crisis began, and this Sunday they can be overtaken by the BNG as the second political force.

Finally, Covid-19 has also greatly complicated voting from abroad, which can determine the last seats in both autonomous communities. Correos has recognized the difficulties for these votes to reach the Basque Country and Galicia before the official count, scheduled for next week.

In the Basque case, this newspaper has agreed to a report sent by the Post Secretary General, Julio González , in which he admits that it will be almost impossible to guarantee the ballots from voters who reside in both Cuba and Venezuela and regrets the little collaboration from outside.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

Know more

  • Galicia
  • Galicia Elections
  • Basque Country
  • Basque Country Elections
  • Alberto Núñez Feijoo
  • Inigo Urkullu
  • Coronavirus
  • Covid 19

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