In brief

BNG, Anova strike Galician election deal, 12 years after split

Both parties call on citizens to “mobilize with their vote” to make Ana Pontón president

Ana Pontón and Martiño Noriega sign the agreement.
Ana Pontón and Martiño Noriega sign the agreement. Author: BNG

The Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) and Anova signed an agreement on Sunday 14 January to “initiate a collaboration process” aimed at “joining forces” for the upcoming 18 February Galician election. The document, which does not specify how the union is to be carried out, calls on Galician citizens to “mobilize with their vote” to make BNG candidate Ana Pontón the next Galician president.

The agreement between the two left-wing pro-sovereignty forces comes 12 years after the historic XIII National Assembly of the BNG, on 26 January 2012, which led to several splits. Most successful electorally was Anova, headed by former BNG leader Xosé Manuel Beiras. Anova ran in alliance with Izquierda Unida in the Galician election in October that year. Beiras led the alliance to win 9 seats, two more than the BNG. In the 2016 election, the En Marea coalition with Anova –reached 14 seats, while the BNG fell back to 6.

However, the BNG recovered electorally, while Anova – and its Spanish allies – shrank. The BNG regained its seat in the Spanish Congress of Deputies and, in the Galician election of 2020, more than tripled its seats to 19. Anova’s coalition gained no seats.

The whole process opened deep wounds in Galician sovereignism. Anova’s national spokesperson, Martiño Noriega, mentioned that at the signing of the agreement with the BNG: “It is important to heal wounds.” In a similar vein, Pontón said that the pact is an example of “politics that unites, builds bridges and is capable of overcoming short-term and partisan visions.”

Galician nationalism considers that a successful result for the BNG in the February elections could pave the way for a post-election agreement between the left-wing parties that could displace the PP from the Galician government. Opinion polls published so far place the BNG as the largest left-wing party in the Galician Parliament, but point to a new absolute majority for the PP.