Spanish nationalist-populist party VOX has been dropped from an upcoming televised debate due to pressure from the electoral commission, despite surging national support and major regional success.
Party leader Santiago Abascal was due to join four other top candidates at the April 23rd event, hosted by private broadcaster Atresmedia, but will no longer be allowed to participate after smaller regional parties brought a complaint.
Interestingly, it was reportedly the only debate in which Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had committed to taking part ahead of April 28th parliamentary elections.
“According to legislative reforms introduced in 2011, private networks have the obligation to respect the same principles of ‘neutrality and equality’ as public stations,” El Pais reports. “At that time, the Central Electoral Board (JEC) established that only parties that had earned at least five percent of votes at the last general election could participate in these debates.”
“Vox obtained 0.2% of the vote at the 2016 election, significantly shy of the threshold. Election officials said its presence would violate the rights of Catalan and Basque nationalist parties, whose leaders were not invited to the event.”
Abascal slammed the decision on social media.
Está claro quien manda todavía en España: los separatistas.— Santiago Abascal (@Santi_ABASCAL) April 16, 2019
Hasta el día 28-A. Porque una gran victoria de la #EspañaViva impulsará la ilegalización de los que quieren romper nuestra convivencia, nuestra Constitución y nuestra Patria. https://t.co/7Pj5wqAYgG
"It is clear who still commands in Spain: the separatists," he tweeted. "A great victory of #LongLiveSpain will drive the outlawing of those who want to tear up our coexistence, our Constitution and our Homeland."
A tweet from an official VOX account pointed out that smaller parties had been allowed to participate in such a debate with no issue.
🚨 La Junta Electoral suspende #ElDebate a 5 en Atresmedia por la presencia de VOX. La misma que aceptó a Podemos y Ciudadanos cuando no tenían representación en el Congreso. La persecución a VOX ha pasado de las calles a las instituciones. El #28A toca reconquistar la democracia https://t.co/p9zFt1CZDn— VOX Noticias 🇪🇸 (@voxnoticias_es) April 16, 2019
"The Electoral Board suspends the presence of VOX at #ElDebate with Atresmedia," VOX Noticias declared. "The same one that accepted We Can and Citizens Party when they had no representation in the Congress. The persecution of VOX has moved from the streets to the institutions."
Atresmedia has reportedly rescheduled and restructured the debate to comply with the electoral commission's demands, but also intends to contest the board's decision.
VOX recently sent shockwaves through the Spanish political order when the upstart party gained major traction in Andalusian elections on an anti-mass migration, anti-leftism platform.
VOX is currently polling at 11 percent heading into snap elections, according to Poll of Polls.
Although many people were recorded celebrating the Notre Dame fire online, the MSM is pushing the false narrative that conservatives are creating fake news.
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