By Euro Weekly News Media • 17 February 2011 • 10:46
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Photo credit: Ismael Olea
MORE than 44,700 foreigners have registered to vote throughout Malaga Province in the May municipal elections, according to the National Institute of Statistics. This could be the key to the results in certain towns with high percentages of EU residents compared to Spanish residents.
In the Axarquia, these include: Canillas de Albaida (39 per cent EU residents), Competa (41 per cent), Frigiliana (33 per cent), La Viñuela (41 per cent), Nerja (24 per cent), Torrox (32 per cent), and Sayalonga (33 per cent), among others.
In Malaga Province, there are 162,604 EU residents, although the majority are not registered to vote.
More recently, the political parties have coveted and pampered them, adding foreigners to their ranks.
Before the electoral roll inscription deadline of January 31, many town halls made a concerted effort to remind foreigners of the importance of registering.
Meanwhile, others have been preparing their campaign material in several languages and holding meetings with foreign residents to explain the voting procedures.
To vote, foreigners from qualifying countries have to prove that they have lived in Spain legally and continuously for the past five years.
They must have a valid resident’s permit or certificate, their ‘certificado de empadronamiento’, and have registered on the electoral census.
The deadline to register on the electoral register in time for the May 22 elections has already expired.
Spain has also reached agreements with Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, Paraguay and Peru, so that their citizens can vote, as well as those from the EU member states, which amount to more than 38,000 people.
By Jennifer Leighfield
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