Josean Izarra Vitoria


Updated Sunday, February 25, 2024-01:24

Victory in the Basque elections on April 21 will be decided in the smallest province of Euskadi: Álava.

And PNV and EH Bildu are clear about it.

The two nationalist parties scheduled the first electoral events yesterday at the same time and just 500 meters apart after Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu revealed the final date of the elections last Thursday.

Imanol Pradales (PNV) offered "stability" in the face of the risk of change and warned, in Basque and Spanish, that "you cannot play with things to eat."

His rival, telecommunications engineer Pello Otxandiano (Bildu) tried to mobilize his people because "the real alternative" in Euskadi after the whitewashing process of him as Sánchez's partner.

With almost two months left until the elections are held, the two nationalist parties have accelerated their public events as Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu closed the legislature with the dissolution of the Basque Parliament next Tuesday.

Urkullu, the former president of the PNV forced to accept having been relegated from a fourth term, did not go yesterday to the Villasuso palace in Vitoria where the electoral list for Álava was presented.

In the last two electoral calls, the still Lehendakari was the head of the list of the Historical Territory where PNV and Bildu maintain a very tight dispute that, for the moment, places the Otegi coalition ahead.

The latest survey carried out by the Basque Government gives Bildu 8 parliamentarians compared to 7 for the PNV in a province that, like Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa, elects 25 representatives.

In this February Sociometer it is predicted that PNV and Bildu would tie at 27 seats.

Aware of the differential value of the Álava seats, the leaders of the PNV - with Andoni Ortuzar at the head - yesterday supported Imanol Pradales who, about to turn 49 (he will do so on April 21) represents the "generational change." .

Pradales is determined to break the image of the PNV as an aging and classist party by appealing to his family origins in Burgos, his condition as the son of workers installed in a humble neighborhood on the Left Bank but integrated into the ideological coordinates of nationalism.

The replacement of Urkullu -Pradales is his 'clone' according to his adversaries - insisted yesterday on emphasizing that the 'PNV model' is "reliable" and is advancing with short steps in "self-government" to improve the questioned social services such as health that ensure "continue building Euskadi and generating well-being."

Pradales also warned of the risk of "interventionist" policies in a province that in recent months has seen economic engines such as Mercedes Benz and Michelin lower their production and negotiate layoffs among their workforces.

Pradales will insist until April 21 on offering himself as a "refuge vote" to moderate Basques when the polls consolidate EH Bildu's argument that they are already a "real alternative" in Euskadi.

Pello Otxandiano, without Otegi in Vitoria, insisted on presenting himself as the candidate of a new way of doing politics.

The 'brain' of the nationalist left chosen by Otegi as a candidate for lehendakari defends increasing "progressive public policies and advancing the sovereignty of Euskadi."

Far from the classic independence postulates of the nationalist left, the doctor in telecommunications engineering turned his electoral rally into a cold conference in which even his colleagues Rocío Vitero and Eva Blanco could not hide his boredom.