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No surprises: Basque Parliament elections will be held on 21 April

  • Next Tuesday it will publish the dissolution decree of the House. The campaign will officially start on 5 April.

22 February 2024 - 18:35
Last updated: 20:22

On Thursday morning the news comes: Lehendakari Urkullu convenes the Governing Council in the afternoon. Last Tuesday the weekly assembly was held, but Urkullu's mother was seriously ill in health – she has died – and left the political agenda.

They did so on Thursday afternoon, and in addition to the opening hours, the way of explaining it was also special. The Urkullu himself has gone to the press and where, and in the Gasteiz Presidency room, not in the press room, there are many hearings. There were many banks in the front lines. Urkullu has faced all members in this last term.

Concertation in Urkullu

Urkullu has insisted on three criteria for convening elections: to comply with the government agreement, to leave the legacy to the next lehendakari in the best possible way and to prioritize the general interest of Basque society.

"I have tried to give everything" and "I have tried to give my best," said lehendakari Urkullu twice. He stresses that he has placed Euskadi's interests "above all else" and tries to follow the "path of agreement". He also apologizes for the mistakes.

It has also done recognition and gratitude. First to society, "crises one after the other, with direct and very serious consequences; the effort of society has been to remove the beret". It thanks all the staff of the Basque Parliament and all those who have been a member of the Government, referring to their name and surname.

"We have made progress," he said, emphasising that in his 12-year term of office unemployment has fallen and the number of people employed has increased. Among other things, he pointed out that "the prestige of the Basque Country has spread to the four winds", as well as the Basque Country brand and the Atlantic Macroregion. He has also recalled the names of Alberto and Joaquín who died in the disaster at the Zaldibar dump, both those who died during the pandemic and, above all, the focus on the victims of male violence. Lehendakari Urkullu reminds the victims of ETA. "It never happened," he says, "never happened."

No surprises

On 17 January, the date of 21 April was put on the table for the first time, at least publicly. Pello Otxandiano de EH Bildu made these statements in the Basque Country: “The exact date is not known, but it seems to be April and probably April 21.” Since then, since the first opposition force, Urkullu has been under pressure to resolve the “mystery”.

The elections were held four years ago in April, but were delayed to July, exceptionally, by the pandemic. Urkullu could therefore extend his term of office until July, but decides not to do so.

The agenda, however, did not easily make Urkullu choices. First of all, the month of July was a reprehensible month; it should be an exception for elections to be held in the middle of the summer. And not in June, if a double call was not made and it was organised jointly with the European elections. In May, on the contrary, they would be grouped too tightly with the European campaign, and, despite that, it would have been excessive. And therefore, April. But the month of April is limited by holidays: the first Sunday of April is Easter Week and the last Sunday the feast of St. Prudencio in Álava. For the elections to be on April 14, the campaign would have been in the middle of Easter. As it will be on 21 April, it will begin on 5 April.

PNV training for one month

The PNV has made a one-month pre-campaign. Imanol Pradales' candidature was presented on 27 January in Durango and a month later, on 27 February, Urkullu will publish the decree of dissolution of the parliament in the Official Gazette of the Basque Country.

Until this last moment, Pradales has continued to serve as Deputy for Infrastructure and Territorial Development of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia. The Member General, Elixabete Etxanobe, announced this week that Pradales has left no responsibility until Urkullu has pronounced.

Parliamentary activity ends

It will not be tomorrow, but from 27 February. From then on, the Basque Parliament will be dissolved and not all the programmes and actions planned will be carried out.

Among other things, they ask the Security Advisor, Josu Erkoreka, to give parliamentary explanations on what happened in Tolosa, both in writing and verbally. If it does not do so on its own initiative, it can be left to nothing.

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