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Spanish opposition leader agrees to face off against PM in two-way debate

Tan KW
Publish date: Tue, 06 Jun 2023, 09:25 PM
Tan KW
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MADRID - Spain's conservative opposition leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo on Tuesday agreed to hold a one-on-one debate against Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in the run-up to the general election on July 23.

Last week, Sanchez decided to dissolve parliament and call a snap election following heavy losses for his Socialist Party in local and regional votes held on May 28.

On Monday, Sanchez challenged his rival to hold six debates - one a week until the vote - but Feijoo's People's Party (PP) slammed the proposal as "eccentric".

The conservative candidate said on Tuesday he would take part in at least one debate, but added that the parties and their campaign managers should decide how many, when and where.

"I have no problem having a head-to-head debate with Mr Sanchez. There will be a debate between me and Mr Sanchez during the election campaign," Feijoo told Onda Cero radio station.

Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz, who seeks to play a key role in the new parliament with her newly-formed alliance of progressive parties Sumar, criticised Sanchez's proposal and said two-party politics was a thing of the past.

"Spain is more than a debate between two men," she said.

Polls show the PP is likely to win the parliamentary election, but it will need an alliance with far-right party VOX to obtain a working majority.

However, the polls also indicate the parliamentary balance could flip if left-wing Podemos, the junior partner in the Socialist-led coalition government, were to join forces with Sumar.

They have until Friday to decide whether they run together or separately.


  - Reuters


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