surinenglish

9 July 1993: Felipe González begins fourth term in office

González is applauded after being reelected by MPs on 9 July 1993.
González is applauded after being reelected by MPs on 9 July 1993. / EFE
  • The PSOE party had won the election but lost seats, forcing González to seek the support of Catalan and Basque MPs to be voted into office

On 9 July 1993 Felipe González was reelected by Spanish MPs in Congreso for a fourth term as prime minister after a two-day investiture debate.

Voters had put González's Socialist party, the PSOE, back in power in the 6 June election, albeit with a reduced majority. As a result González had needed the support of MPs from the Catalan and Basque separatist parties in order to secure a majority and be invested into the role.

Just over a month previously, more than seventy per cent of the electorate went to the polls, a higher turnout than in previous years and votes were concentrated on the two main parties: the PSOE and the Spanish conservative Partido Popular (PP).

Minority parties which previously had seats in the government made big losses.

The PSOE's strongest support was in Andalucía, where the party had traditionally had a stronghold (the PSOE lost control to the PP for the first time in Spain's democracy in 2018).

In the province of Malaga the socialist party won 97 of its 100 local councils with the PP beating them only in Torremolinos, and Júzcar, while the left-wing Izquierda Unida won Arriate.

One of the biggest losers of the 1993 election was Jesús Gil and his party of the same name, who swept to power in Marbella's local elections just two years earlier. The GIL party, which had candidates in every province in Andalucía, won only one tenth of the votes.

Felipe González, who was first elected as prime minister in 1982 with a landslide victory when he promised to "change the face of Spain", said that he understood the message from the electorate that it was time to ring the changes again.

He continued as prime minister until May 1996, when his party narrowly lost the general elections to the PP.

Among his achievements in 14 years of being prime minister, Felipe González oversaw the implementation of the welfare state, a complete reform of the Spanish armed forces, Spain's entry into the European Economic Community (now European Union) and universal access to education and health.