VOX leaders Santiago Abascal (L) and Francisco Serrano on election night Andalucía, 2018. Photo: El Diario
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► VOX ►

VOX is a far-right national political party launched in January 2014 by former members of the conservative Partido Popular (PP), disenchanted at the time with a perceived centre-right drift of the former PP government of ex-President Mariano Rajoy as well as the Rajoy government’s policies toward Basque and Catalan separatism, considered more lenient than previous PP administrations.

VOX ran candidates for the first time in the May 2014 European Parliamentary elections, with a generally poor showing nationwide — only 3.94 percent of the vote in the Madrid community was its highest percentage of votes garnered in any region of Spain — and the party barely garnered enough support to win just one seat in the European parliament.

In 2014, the VOX membership elected as president of the party the Basque politician Santiago Abascal, a former PP deputy in the Basque regional assembly from 2004-09. A personal friend of former PP President José Maria Aznar, Abascal is also the founder of the ultra-nationalist Fundación para la Defensa de la Nación Española (DENAES, or ‘Foundation for the Defense of the Spanish Nation’). The party’s general secretary is Javier Ortega Smith-Molina, a Madrid attorney and former member of the Spanish military’s elite special operations branch.

In Andalucian regional elections of December 2018, the party ran successfully on an anti-immigrant and Spanish nationalist platform to win 10.81 percent of the vote and 12 seats in the Andalucian regional parliament, tipping the majority of seats to parties to the right of centre and effectively shedding the perception of VOX being an insignificant player in Spanish politics.

You can find out more about VOX at the following links:

Updated as of 12/2018

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