Over 70 per cent of foreigners legally residing in Spain do not have the right to vote

ABOUT 73 per cent of foreign people legally living as residents in Spain do not have the right to vote, according to Labour Ministry figures.

The ministry’s data showed about 27 per cent, or almost 1.3 million, of the roughly 4.7 million foreigners registered in Spain would be entitled to vote in elections this month.

About 466,180 foreigners who are entitled to vote are signed up to the electoral register, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

Foreigners who register their intent to vote with their council can vote in local and EU elections but not in general or regional ballots.

It comes as 23-year-old Safia Elaadam launched her Voting is a Right campaign after being told she could not vote in April’s general election despite being born in Cataluña. She does not have Spanish citizenship and would have to pay more than €500 to get it and the vote.

“The elections are approaching and I cannot vote in my own country,” she said before the ballot.

Residents from EU member states can vote in elections for the European Parliament under bloc-wide rules.

Spain has agreements with Latin American countries and others around the world which permit foreigners from their countries to vote if they have lived legally in Spain for five years. The amount of time needed for Norwegian citizens is three.

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Written by

Joe Gerrard

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