Uncover the Party Partido Popular (PP)

President of the Partido Popular Alberto Núñez Feijóo en Valencia

President of the Partido Popular Alberto Núñez Feijóo en Valencia. Photo credit: Partido Popular official website

Get to know more about the Spanish political party, the Partido Popular (PP)

THE origins of the Popular Party (PP) can be traced back to Alianza Popular (AP), a coalition formed during Spain‘s transition to democracy. Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a prominent figure who had served as Minister of Information and Tourism and played a key role in drafting the Constitution, was instrumental in bringing together various right-wing currents to establish Alianza Popular in 1976. Fraga became its president in 1979.

In 1982, Alianza Popular, led by Manuel Fraga, became the main opposition to the Socialist government of Felipe González. Antonio Hernández Mancha succeeded Fraga as president before the party underwent a process of re-foundation in 1989, leading to the creation of the Partido Popular. José María Aznar emerged as a prominent figure within the party and was elected its president in 1990, with Fraga assuming the position of honorary president.

José María Aznar López
Spanish politician who was the prime minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004.
Credit: Wikipedia/Campeones 2008

During Aznar’s government from 1996 to 2004, Spain faced significant political and economic challenges. The PP’s victory in the 1996 elections marked a shift after 14 years of Socialist rule. Aznar’s administration focused on achieving economic objectives such as euro adoption, liberalizing the economy, and promoting job creation. The economy experienced strong growth, with a reduction in the public deficit and a decline in unemployment.

Under the 7th Legislature, Spain continued to experience economic growth, positioning itself as a prominent member of the European Union. The government implemented key economic innovations, such as the adoption of the Euro, further tax reductions, and the creation of the Social Security Reserve Fund.

In 2011, the Partido Popular, led by Mariano Rajoy, won the elections amidst challenging economic circumstances. Rajoy’s government implemented policies to address economic imbalances, such as reducing the public deficit and tackling high unemployment. Spain regained international confidence and achieved economic recovery under his leadership.

Mariano Rajoy
Credit:European People’s Party – EPP Congress Rome 2006, Mariano Rajoy

Pablo Casado became the president of the PP in 2018, following Mariano Rajoy’s retirement. Alberto Núñez Feijóo was elected as the party’s president in 2022 during the 20th National Congress.

Alberto Núñez Feijóo president of PP
President of the Partido Popular.
Credit: European People’s Party

Today, the Partido Popular stands as a prominent political force in Spain, representing the democratic backbone of the country. The party aims to offer an alternative government, and it prides itself on its journey, commitment, and connection to the Spanish people.


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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!