Podemos plan to enable voting for foreign residents

Anti-austerity party Podemos has detailed plans to allow immigrants to Spain to vote in regional elections and referendums. 

Presenting its manifesto on Monday the left-wing party, which rose to international prominence following a strong showing in the 2014 European elections, identified improving the “political participation” of immigrants as a chief concern. 

“We will do a viability analysis to see if [this initiative] can be incorporated into our current constitutional framework,” said a party spokesman.

Estimates currently place the number of registered immigrants at almost 4.8 million, but with under 500,000 entitled to vote in local and regional elections this May. 

Only residents in Spain who are EU citizens or come from one of the 12 countries with which Spain has a reciprocity agreement can vote. 

Other immigration related initiatives presented include the elimination of holding centres and deportation flights, and the possibility of foreigners establishing their own political parties.  

Spain will hold general elections on December 20th with all seats in the Congress of Deputies and the majority of Senate seats up for grabs. 

Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party will seek re-election in a contest anticipated to fracture the decades long stranglehold held by the PP and their socialist rivals the PSOE.

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