(G-D): Pablo Casado, Pedro Sánchez, Santiago Abascal, Pablo Iglesias and Albert Rivera

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(G-D): Pablo Casado, Pedro Sánchez, Santiago Abascal, Pablo Iglesias and Albert Rivera

Spanish voters go to the polls Sunday for the country's second general election since April – and the fourth in four years.

Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, whose Socialists won the most seats in the previous poll, announced the vote in September after failing to secure the parliamentary support necessary for the formation of a government.

After months of turbulent negotiations and political turmoil, the Spaniards hope to break out of the political stalemate.

Major party leaders clashed in a televised debate Monday night, but the Spanish political landscape is fragmented and recent polls suggest that none of them should win the majority.

Here we examine the leaders of the main political parties and what they represent.

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We will add a new crime to the penal code which prohibits once and for all the celebration of illegal referendums in Catalonia.

Pedro SánchezThe 47-year-old is no doubt enjoying an advantage in his current position as interim Prime Minister, even though he has never won a parliamentary majority yet.

His term began with the fall of the Conservative People's Party in a vote of no confidence in June 2018. Since then, the Socialist leader (PSOE) has put together a series of eye-catching measures that have seduced his base, such as raising the minimum wage and appointing a female-dominated cabinet.

A majority would allow him this time to undertake more ambitious structural reforms; he spoke of plans to overhaul the education system, legalize euthanasia, modify labor regulations and disrupt the national broadcaster RTVE.

He also sought to reduce tensions with Catalonia, a semi-autonomous region in northeastern Spain, whose unsuccessful attempt at independence in 2017 sparked the country's biggest political crisis in 40 years .

Sánchez is opposed to another referendum on independence, but previously recognized Catalonia and the Basque Country as nations inside Spain, not just regions.

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I want to lead a government that protects the elderly … and encourages young people to realize their dreams.

Elected leader of the Popular Party (PP) last July, Pablo CasadoThis nomination was perceived as a change to the right for the main Spanish opposition.

The 38-year-old, who wants to cut Spanish income taxes and corporations in an effort to boost productivity, called for a review of the EU's policy on freedom of movement and borders.

Mr Casado, who was previously the PP's chief of communications, took control of the party after his involvement in a corruption scandal that led to the ousting of former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

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He has always adopted a firm attitude towards Catalan separatists and has previously described Mr Sánchez as "a big villain in the democratic history of Spain" for having had talks with the Catalan president. Quim Torra.

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I am the only candidate to have promised to negotiate reforms and agreements with the parties that support the constitution to ensure that Spain is on the right track.

Albert Rivera, who will turn 40 next week, launched his party Ciudadanos (or Citizens) in 2006 by distributing campaign posters in which he appears naked.

Selling as a socially liberal society, Ciudadanos is committed to the market economy. Although she deviated right before the April elections, she is now fighting for the center.

The party took on importance in Catalonia with a campaign against independence.

More recently, Mr. Rivera said that he would have dealt with the Catalan crisis by permanently suspending the autonomy of the region and removing Mr. Torra from office.

If he succeeds well on Sunday, he is committed to helping form a government within a month. Otherwise, and Ciudadanos remains in opposition, he said, he would play his part to help break the deadlock.

In the run-up to the elections, Rivera urged young Spaniards to vote with "enthusiasm". His social media feed contains videos and messages apparently endorsed by his "secret weapon" – a dog named Lucas. In this post, he welcomes the dog as "already part of the Citizens family".

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We should not be intimidated by the ignorant and violent right which asserts that there is no plurinational country.

Pablo Iglesias41, runs the left-wing Podemos (We Can) party, whose anti-austerity policies focus on investing in public services such as education and health and the protection of social rights.

He formed Podemos in January 2014 with a group of university lecturers on the left.

Mr. Iglesias was a member of the Union of Spanish Communist Youth and was part of the anti-globalization movement of the 1990s. He survived a vote of confidence from Podemos last May after controversially spending € 600,000 (527 £ 700,000) for a luxury home.

Some members of the Podemos Foundation said that the purchase of the property, which included a swimming pool and guest accommodations, undermined the credibility of the party at the base.

Prior to Sunday's elections, Iglesias said he would work with Sánchez to form a government that would focus on progressive policies if no party wins a majority.

In addition to leading his party, Mr. Iglesias presents talk shows on Spanish television and is a lecturer in political science.

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We would suspend autonomy in Catalonia and take control of the media, police and education of the region.

A former member of the Conservative People's Party, Santiago Abascal is now leading Vox, a party that has seen support grow in the April general election – winning 24 seats in parliament with more than 10% of the vote.

The success of Vox was seen as a turning point for the far right, which had not won a seat in parliament since the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in 1975 and the restoration of democracy (with the sole exception from a single seat to the first parliament of 1979). -1982).

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While Mr Abascal rejects the label of the far right, his views on immigration and Islam place him in line with the far right and populist parties elsewhere in Europe.

Vox plans to return legally-authorized migrants to Spain if they have committed an offense and wishes to prevent any migrant who goes there illegally from staying.

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The party also wants to repeal laws against gender-based violence and oppose abortion and same-sex marriage. Critics see it as a nationalist return to the Franco era.

Seats earned in April 2019