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  • Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias (C), accompanied by Alberto Garzon from the United Front, gives remarks on results in Spain

    Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias (C), accompanied by Alberto Garzon from the United Front, gives remarks on results in Spain's general election. | Photo: Reuters

Despite the upset in the Spanish elections Sunday, the progressive left said it will keep campaigning until it controls government.

Speaking as the final results of the Spanish election trickled in, presidential candidate for Unidos Podemos Pablo Iglesias said in a press conference Sunday that he was "concerned" about the win for the conservative People's Party, but that the newly-formed coalition of left-wing parties will continue as it is and keep fighting against the two-party system.

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Official results have the right-wing PP with 137 seats, Socialist Party 85, Unidos Podemos 71 and Ciudadanos 32. At least 176 seats are needed to reach an abolute majority in parliament, making a conservative coalition the most likely to cross the threshold.

Iglesias did not rule out a left-wing coalition, but emphasized that the most important step forward is dialogue among progressive parties to evaluate how to move forward. Considering their strong base in Catalonia, in the Basque country and among young Spaniards, he said that, "Spain's future will involve Unidos Podemos."

Congratulating voters on the "unprecedented" electoral victory—breaking the decades-long two-party model — Iglesias said that he is certain that the left-wing coalition is the "correct" path for the country.

Alberto Garzon, leader of the United Left, that teamed up with Podemos, said Sunday that while the coalition did not win the votes he had wished for "for now, we won't kneel down, but will keep building." He also said the coalition will remain united despite pressure to break it apart.

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Podemos, Iglesias' party, has often been compared to Greece's SYRIZA, which is under assault for its capitulation to the European Union's austerity program. Iglesias, though, said that, "We would never prostitute ourselves to their (neoliberal) agenda ... we will not change principles; we know who we are defending."

Iglesias spoke with Pedro Sanchez, the candidate of the PSOE that came in second place, on forming a coalition, who said in a press conference Sunday that he is "not satisfied" with the electoral results but will nonetheless keep defending a social democratic—but more center-left—position.

Meanwhile, the leader of the right-wing Ciudadanos, which is expected to enter in a coalition with the PP to rule parliament, said Sunday that, "The center has come to stay." Mariano Rajoy, acting Prime Minister and leader of the PP, celebrated the victory with the crowd chanting, "si se puede" — yes we can — saying that his party is Spain's party.


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