In a triumphant win, anti-poverty activist Ada Colau, who rose to fame by fighting for Spaniards being evicted from their homes, was elected to head the Catalan city of Barcelona on Monday. Meanwhile, in the capital city of Madrid, the 20-year conservative grip on power could come to an end if former communist and indignada activist Manuela Carmena can form a coalition with the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE). Both Colau and Carmena’s parties are backed by the leftist grass-roots movement, Podemos.

Though some uncertainty still hangs in the air regarding Sunday’s municipal and regional elections, the Spanish people showed they were certain about one thing: It’s time for a change, and the left will lead them to it.

From The Guardian:

Ada Colau, the 41-year-old anti-eviction activist who leads Barcelona En Comú, was elected mayor of the Catalan city. “It’s a victory for David over Goliath,” said Colau as news broke of the historical win.

A grassroots movement of several leftist political parties, including Podemos, and thousands of citizens, Barcelona En Comú vowed to return decision-making in the city to the people, promising to do away with home evictions, increase public housing and redistribute the city’s wealth. Colau’s party won 11 of the 41 seatson the city council, meaning that she will need to form alliances in order to govern.

In Madrid, the People’s party is not certain of hanging on to power…The PP candidate, Esperanza Aguirre, 63, who is a countess by marriage, squeaked ahead in Sunday’s vote, winning 21 council seats in the city…“indignada” candidate Manuela Carmena, whose Podemos-backed coalition Ahora Madrid came a close second.

The 71-year-old former judge and communist was enjoying her retirement last year when friends asked her to run for mayor of Madrid. She could now wrestle power from the PP if her party were to form an alliance with the Socialists. “The vote for change has won a majority,” she said…With general elections due by the end of the year, Sunday’s elections in 13 regions and more than 8,100 municipalities were widely seen as a chance to test the mood of Spanish voters. The message that emerged was clear, with Spaniards voting to end the two-party dominance that has characterised Spanish politics since the death of Franco. With 90% of the vote counted in Sunday’s elections, the PP and the Socialists had taken 52% of the nationwide vote, a significant drop from the 65% the two mainstream parties earned in elections four years ago.

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—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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