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Spanish municipal elections highlight political divide

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By Reuters
Spanish municipal elections highlight political divide

Conservatives have regained control of the Spanish capital, forcing out the leftist mayor with a controversial power-sharing deal.

Under the Spanish municipal electoral system, if no single candidate wins outright, a mayor is chosen from whichever group forms a majority.

In Madrid, People’s Party candidate Jose Luis Martinez Almeida came second behind mayor Manuela Carmena.

But he’s managed to take control of the city government after forming an alliance with the anti-immigration Vox group as well as the centre-right Ciudadanos party.

Some members of the centre-right party expressed unease over the party's decision to deepen its ties with the far-right party Vox.

In Barcelona, the acting far-leftist mayor Ada Colau was sworn in for a second term on Saturday with the support of the Socialists and other groupings.

She was also backed by former French prime minister Manuel Valls - in a deal aimed at preventing a Catalan pro-independence leader taking office.