Socialists pledge municipal voting rights to all foreign citizens legally resident for five years

Photo: El País
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• Move would enable some 1.5 million legally resident immigrants to vote

• Moroccans, Chinese, Ukrainians & other disenfranchised groups to benefit

An estimated 1.5 million additional foreigners legally resident in Spain would be granted the same right as EU citizens to vote in municipal elections under a new plan promised by the Socialist party (PSOE) if elected in upcoming Dec 20th general elections.

Currently, citizens of EU countries and 12 other nations with which Spain has bilateral treaties on the matter are able to vote in local municipal elections nationwide. The left-wing Podemos party has already offered to extend those rights for the same group of foreign voters to balloting at the regional level in all of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities.

But, the PSOE has announced as part of its electoral platform that if the party wins at the polls on Dec. 20th, it will seek to extend voting rights in local municipal elections to an estimated 1.5 million additional foreigners from third countries who have been legally resident in Spain for five years or more.

If implemented, the move would give municipal voting rights to members of Spain’s large immigrant communities currently not eligible to vote. Those communities include an estimated 750,000 Moroccans, 189,000 Chinese, 76,000 Ukrainians, 66,000 Pakistanis and some 240,000 other legal residents, principally from African, Asian and Latin American countries.

Read the Full Story in English at El País >> >>

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