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Four jailed Catalan separatists, 24 far-right lawmakers, a record number of women and the biggest Socialist group in years yesterday inaugurated a parliament that reflects Spain’s divisions and diversity like no other in recent memory. Acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists boosted their representation in the April 28 election but have yet to put together a working majority in the fragmented chamber, and say it may not happen until July.
The parliament of many firsts vividly illustrates the demise of the decades-old domination of politics by the Socialists to the left and the conservative People’s Party to the right.
The 24 Vox lawmakers are the first far-right bloc to sit in parliament since Francisco Franco’s dictatorship ended in the late 1970s, although one single far-right legislator sat from 1979-1982.
Newcomer Vox gained 10% of the vote last month and counts among its legislators two retired generals who have signed a manifesto honouring Franco’s memory.