By Alyssa McMurtry
OVIEDO, Spain (AA) – A Spanish party calling for immigrant deportations and a border wall captured a surprise 11 percent of the vote in Andalusia’s regional elections on Sunday, making it the first far-right party to win seats above a municipal level since the death of dictator Francisco Franco.
Before Sunday, Spain had stood out as an exception to the far-right wave that has been showing strength across Europe.
“The Reconquista [reconquest] is starting in Andalusia and will spread to the rest of Spain,” tweeted the Vox party on Sunday night after the results were called, referring to the historical period in which Christians gained control of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslims.
The Socialist Party had run Andalusia for 36 years uninterrupted, but on Sunday they lost their majority. A right-wing coalition is a likely outcome.
Marine Le Pen of France’s surging far-right party sent her “warmest congratulations” to Vox, tweeting: “They have achieved a significant result for a young and dynamic movement.”
Vox’s nationalist platform fiercely opposes Catalan independence, vows to fight corruption, and calls for more deportations and a massive wall to be built on Spain’s southern borders.
“An immigrant from a Spanish-speaking American country… is not the same as immigration from Islamic countries,” said Vox leader Santiago Abascal earlier this year in the Canary Islands.