The political future of Spain could be decided from the Canary Islands. Pictured: the Lanzarote saltworks


Spanish elections: Now Canary Islands MP says SHE is kingmaker


Another kingmaker has emerged in Spanish politics following last month’s inconclusive elections: an MP from the Canary Islands. Cristina Valido from the Coalición Canaria (CC) party has laid out conditions for her support in the investiture process for the new Spanish Government.

Political commentators in Madrid have called Valido “a key piece in the political board.” Valido said she would not support any government that includes either hard-left party Sumar, or the Conservative party Vox.

Since July 31 she has given no clear sign as to whether she will support the bid of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez from the Socialist Party (PSOE), or Alberto Núñez Feijóo from the Partido Popular (PP). For both, the backing of the CC could prove indispensable.

“We are willing to reach a specific investiture agreement that takes into account the interest of Canarians,” Valido stated in an interview on August 1. She added that the CC was ready to support the premiership of “either Sánchez or Feijóo”.

Valido avoided leaning toward any candidate. When pressed about her preference she replied that “it will depend on the enforcement of the laws that protect the Statute of Autonomy”.

The demands of the CC include regional participation in managing the Canary Islands’ ports and airports and an agreement to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to its shores. The CC is expected to demand more resources from the central Spanish Government as part of the regime that finances Autonomous Communities.

Valido’s conditions are a problem for both Feijóo and Sánchez. After Spain’s Central Electoral Board revealed the general election results of overseas votes, both blocs are virtually tied.

They each need the support of either Sumar or Vox, yet including either is a a “red line” for the CC. Valido referred to both parties as “extreme” and “far-right”, respectively.

“We do not share a single idea with Vox”, she added. She also recalled that Podemos, Sumar’s predecessor party “supported every coalition possible to take CC out of public institutions”.

The CC is seemingly dethroning the Catalan separatists as kingmakers. Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra Republicana (ERC) have revealed their conditions; the Canarians’ position offers an alternative.

To Sánchez, Valido’s favourable vote may well help him “save face”, observers say. In that case, the Socialists would not have to rely on Carles Puigdemont’s Junts support. Yet, even with the CC’s vote, the PSOE would need – at least – the abstention of the Catalan and the Basque parties.

When asked about the role of separatist parties, Valido suggested their involvement would not impede the lending of her support to a potential Sánchez investiture.