Spain’s far-right Vox party has 24 hours to take down a sign showing symbols representing feminism, communism, the LGBTQ+ community, the squatters movement and the Catalan independence flag being thrown away as if they were rubbish, but the Electoral Board of Madrid
Since 17 June, the large banner has hung from the exterior of a building in the centre of Madrid as a way of kicking off Vox’s electoral campaign for the upcoming general elections, which will be held at the end of July.
The slogan ‘Decide what matters’, written in the centre of the banner, lies above the passers-by walking down Alcalá street and it points out every single thing that goes against the party’s ideology.
Following a complaint made by the Socialist Party, the Electoral Board of Madrid has decided this Tuesday that Vox will have to withdraw it as it “calls for votes outside the electoral campaign”.
In Spain, the electoral campaign begins 16 days before the elections, which means that political parties are not allowed to start before the 7th of July.
According to the arbitration body, which upheld the complaints, the installation of the banner “is not justified” within the ordinary activities of the party and considers that the slogan ‘Decide what matters’ has the “intention of persuading” Spaniards to support Vox.
In their statement, they decided not to rule on the possible illegality of the actual content shown in the banner.
They believe their only competence is to judge acts in accordance with electoral regulations.
‘Threatening the LGTBI community’
Despite the decision, civil society organisations are not happy. The strongest criticism has come from their side, along with the Socialist Party.
“We will not allow the far-right party to continue threatening the LGBTQ+ community,” said in a statement Uge Sangil, president of the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans, Bisexuals, Intersexuals and more.
“Sadly, it can help other even more inflammatory speeches and hate crimes to become a reality”, pointed out the Interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska.
The banner has a message that many have assumed as being directly aimed at the Socialists.
On the left, against a red background, there is a description of the parties which lie on that side of the political spectrum. Pedestrians can read: “Imposition, insecurity, division, poverty, abandonment and invasion”.
While, to the right of the poster, one can read: “Freedom, security, family, industry, countryside and borders”. This is in line with the far right party’s election programme.
Other members of the Socialist Party claimed on social media: “The banner of hate, discrimination and shame is an attack on our rights and our model of coexistence”.
Vox has not yet made any public statement on the decision announced by the Electoral body.