These are the candidates for the elections in the Basque Country

The polls anticipate that the elections to the Basque Parliament on April 21 will have a lot of competition between the two main Basque political forces, the PNV and EH Bildu, although in total up to 14 candidates are presented and seven of them have options for election.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
03 April 2024 Wednesday 10:29
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These are the candidates for the elections in the Basque Country

The polls anticipate that the elections to the Basque Parliament on April 21 will have a lot of competition between the two main Basque political forces, the PNV and EH Bildu, although in total up to 14 candidates are presented and seven of them have options for election. enter the Basque Parliament.

According to the polls, the jeltzale Imanol Pradales and the sovereigntist Pello Otxandiano are the two heads of the list with the best chance of reaching Ajuria Enea, although the socialist Eneko Andueza will play a decisive role, since he will have the key to governability. On the part of the PP, Javier de Andrés faces the challenge of stopping the decline of the Basque Popular Party in recent years and hopes that their votes can be important in governability (for this it would be key for the PNV and PSE not to gain an absolute majority). . On the confederal Basque left, meanwhile, an even fight will be settled between Podemos and Sumar for the same electorate. And, finally, some surveys indicate that Vox could keep its only parliamentarian, Amaia Martínez

The PNV candidate for lehendakari, Imanol Pradales Gil, will turn 49 on the day of the elections, an anecdote that led the current lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, to joke about it when the date of the elections had not yet been set.

In fact, both have known each other for four decades, when Urkullu was Pradales' own maisu (teacher) at the Asti Leku ikastola in Portugalete. The jeltzale ha lehendakari candidate grew up there, in this area of ​​the Left Bank of the Bilbao estuary, between the working-class neighborhood of Mamariga, in Santurtzi, and the neighboring town of Portugalete, where he currently resides.

After finishing COU, he studied Sociology and Political Science at the University of Deusto, where he also obtained his doctorate and began working as a professor. In 2007, two relevant leaders of the PNV, such as Iñigo Urkullu himself and the former deputy general of Bizkaia, José Luis Bilbao, were key in getting him closer to politics. That year he began working at Bizkaia Talent, an entity aimed at retaining and attracting talent in those years of crisis, while coordinating the Think Gaur reflection process within the PNV. Starting in 2011, Pradales took another step and began to occupy relevant positions in the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, linked to economic promotion and infrastructure.

Last fall, the PNV proposed him to replace Urkullu as a candidate. Pradales is married and has a two-year-old daughter. He is fond of rowing on a fixed bench, a sport that he practiced for many years - even rowing in the popular Bandera de La Concha -, reading and the music of Benito Lertxundi, Fito, Xabier Lete, Bruce Springsteen, Hertzainak or Dire Straits .

The candidate of the EH Bildu coalition to try to override the PNV is Pello Otxandiano Kanpo, proposed to the bases last December. A native of the Biscayan town of Otxandino and born in 1983, he has a doctorate in Telecommunications Engineering, after presenting a doctoral thesis in 2012 resulting from four years of research at the University of Mondragón and one at Chalmers University of Technology in the Swedish city. from Göteborg.

Otxandiano is one of the engineers who has designed the pragmatic turn that EH Bildu has carried out in recent years, as head of the coalition's Program until last winter. He is more of an ideologue interested in the ecosocial proposals of the European left than a manager, although the coalition has sought a profile that offers the image that, if he came to power, he would manage in a solvent manner.

From EH Bildu they point out that Pello Otxandiano's passion would be "to combine his technological training with his political vocation, working on the application of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence or Blockchain in public policies, in order to promote processes of social and economic transformation ". Otxandiano is fond of music - he is learning to play the piano on his own -, reading and the mountains, and he especially enjoys spending time with his family, especially his two daughters, in his native Otxandio. .

Eneko Andueza, who will turn 45 this spring, took over from Idoia Mendia at the head of the PSE in the fall of 2021 and this spring he will run for the first time as a candidate for lehendakari. Affiliated with the party since he was 17, Andueza has gone through stages until he leads the party. First he was a member of the Socialist Youth of Euskadi, a grassroots militant of the party and a councilor in an environment complicated by the pressure of ETA such as Goierri in Gipuzkoa (he was councilor in Ordizia). In his third book, Young People Without Youth, he recounts the difficulties he experienced as a teenage PSE activist in Gipuzkoa at the end of the 90s and beginning of this century.

Since 2004 Andueza knew the first political line from the backstage, as an advisor to the Government delegate in Euskadi Paulino Luesma and, from 2006, he was the right hand of the then mayor of Eibar, Iñaki Arriola, heavyweight of Gipuzkoan socialism. In 2011 he made the leap to the General Meetings of Gipuzkoa, as spokesperson, and in 2016 to the Basque Parliament, where he has been spokesperson for the last four years.

Graduated in Political Sciences and Administration from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Andueza is linked to the historic socialist tradition of Eibar and has dedicated several books to the world of bullfighting, his other great passion.

Andueza is a neighbor of Imanol Pradales in Portugalete, where he moved after marrying his current wife for the second time. Together they share a large family of four children, two boys from his first marriage and two girls from his wife, Myriam.

Javier de Andrés entered politics through the “dark side”, a term used in journalistic jargon to refer to the area of ​​political communication within parties. He did it in the mid-90s, when after graduating in Information Sciences he began working as head of communication for the PP in Álava, and 30 years later, since last autumn, he has led this formation in the Basque Country.

De Andrés, who was also Director of Communication of the Álava Provincial Council, definitively entered politics in 2004, when he held the position of Deputy for Public Works. Only three years later, in 2007, he would run for the first time to occupy the most important position in the territory, that of deputy general of Álava.

Although he received the most votes, he failed to gain enough support and went to the opposition. Four years later he would manage to recover and, between 2011 and 2015, he would become the most important institutional position of the PP in the Basque Country.

The journalist from Vitoria would win the elections again in 2015, although the post-electoral pacts would bring the jeltzale Ramiro González to office. Just a year later, Mariano Rajoy appointed him as Government delegate in the Basque Country, a position that he would hold until 2018.

Married to an ikastola teacher and father of three children, Javier de Andrés resumed his professional activity as a journalist after the motion of censure against Mariano Rajoy and has made his debut as an audiovisual documentary filmmaker. In the elections last July he was elected PP deputy for Álava, although he left Congress to try to revive the Basque Popular Party after its poor results in 2020.

Miren Gorrotxategi is the only head of the list among the main Basque parties who repeats as a candidate for lehendakari, after making her debut in 2020, winning 6 parliamentarians. The prospects in the elections on the 21st, however, are not so promising, since the purple party could be left out of the Basque Parliament, after the possibility of running in a coalition with Sumar did not come to fruition.

Gorrotxategi (Abadiño, 1967) is a professor of Constitutional Law at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and has been linked to Podemos since its emergence, when she acceded to the leadership of the party in Euskadi with the help of other colleagues from the Faculty of Law . Her participation as a candidate in 2020 was a surprise, since she agreed as a representative of the critical sector, after unseating Rosa Martínez, the bet of the then general secretary of the formation, Lander Martínez, today the top leader of Sumar in Euskadi.

As a researcher in the field of Law and, in particular, equality in Fundamental Rights, she has dealt with issues related to housing, food and interculturality. Raised as the eldest of four siblings, she has indicated that as a mother of two children she tries to transmit to them, “from a secular perspective,” the values ​​of Christianity that her parents transmitted to her, “linked to honesty and solidarity,” as well as "the Basque heritage" that he also received at home.

A music fan, Gorrotxategi sings in the Bogoroditse choir of Durango and is the sister of the opera tenor Andeka Gorrotxategi.

Sumar's candidate for lehendakari, Alba García Martín, is 36 years old and has a degree in Psychology, specialized in the field of Psychosocial Intervention and with a master's degree in this field.

She has dedicated most of her professional career to the third sector, working as an educator, community supervisor or advisor on immigration and immigration issues. García was coordinator of SOS Racism in Bizkaia and four years ago she founded the NGO Big Road Elkartea, dedicated to launching community projects and local initiatives in Senegal.

Alba García entered politics through Podemos, where for three years she worked as an institutional action technician and served as campaign coordinator in the 2023 elections. The Bilbao psychologist, however, is committed to joining forces around Sumar, who is running as a coalition with Ezker Anitza-IU, Equo Berdeak and Más Euskadi.