Letters of death threats containing bullets from an assault rifle and a bloodied knife were sent to candidates on the left. With less than a week to go before the regional elections, the campaign for the presidency of Spain’s leading economic region is dominating the news. According to recent polls, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the current president of the region and candidate of the Popular Party (conservative right), would double her number of seats. If the left is lagging behind in the polls, death threats received by some personalities from Podemos (radical left) and the Socialist Party (PSOE) electrified the electoral campaign.
The far right questions the threats
Last Thursday, Pablo Iglesias, candidate of Podemos, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, the current Minister of the Interior and María Gámez, the director of the Civil Guard received by mail four bullets from an assault rifle used by the army Spain in the 1960s. Pablo Iglesias, the former vice-president of the government who left his post to run for office in Madrid, also received a typed message threatening him and his family “with being sentenced to death” and that their hours were “counted”.
While all parties condemned these threats, Rocío Monasterio, far-right candidate in Madrid, dynamited the second electoral debate on the radio by questioning the authenticity of the death threats. Faced with these comments, Pablo Iglesias immediately left the debate. “That a political force which defends the dictatorship calls into question the fact that we have received death threats is unacceptable”, the candidate was angry. In support, the other left-wing candidates announced that they refused to debate with Vox, resulting in the cancellation of two other debates scheduled for this week.
The Head of State condemns
Monday morning, it is the current Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, and number two on the list of the socialist candidate in Madrid, who received by mail a letter with a bloody knife. Pedro Sánchez immediately condemned these threats. ” Enough ! We’re not going to let this go. We are not going to accept that hatred takes hold of living together in Spain ”, declared the Head of State on twitter.
While the left-wing parties want to block the far right, Isabel Ayuso, poll favorite and new muse of the right, does not rule out allying again with the far-right party Vox
which accentuates the tensions. As for the central government, it warned against extremist speeches wanting to “undermine democratic values”.
* Currently, Isabel Diaz Ayuso governs thanks to an alliance with the extreme right and the center, allowing her to obtain the majority in the regional assembly.