Update: Feminists disrupt far-right Vox rally in Spain
By The Associated Press04/26/19, 17:49
The Latest on campaigning ahead of Spain’s general election on Sunday (all times local):
Topless feminist activists have been taken away by Spanish police after they climbed onto a stage in Madrid minutes before the far-right nationalist Vox party was to begin a campaign rally.
At least three members of the feminist group Femen jumped Friday evening onto the stage at the Colon Square and screamed “It’s not patriotism, it’s fascism!” with the same slogan written on their bare torsos.
The women were quickly grabbed by Vox sympathizers and security personnel, as National Police agents moved to take them away from the crowd.
Vox is poised to influence politics in Spain with polls predicting it will grab a significant number of seats in Sunday’s general election. The populist party has blasted Spain’s women’s right movement.
Appealing to Spain’s large pool of undecided voters, top candidates on both the right and left are urging Spaniards to choose wisely and keep the far-right at bay in Sunday’s general election.
With no one party expected to win over 50 percent of Sunday’s vote, the question becomes which of Spain’s top five parties will join together after the vote to create a governing alliance.
The incumbent Socialist candidate, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, said Friday he’s open to a coalition with the anti-austerity United We Can party, hinting for the first time at a possible center-left governing deal.
On the political right, which the conservative Popular Party used to dominate but which has splintered into three main groups, the upstart far-right Vox party is making inroads. Citizens leader Albert Rivera, meanwhile, insists that his center-right party will only join a governing coalition with the conservatives.
The Popular Party’s new leader, Pablo Casado, is committed to unseating the leftist Sánchez from power but is also battling to stop Vox from draining votes away from his party.