The tiny landlocked Principality of Andorra squished in between Spain and France votes today, the fifth elections since Andorra adopted a Constitution and ceased to be a feudal (yes, feudal) principality in 1992. It is still co-ruled by the Bishop of Urgell in Spain and the President of France, though their powers are limited to veto powers over matters affecting Spanish and French interests respectively. Andorra is the only country with Catalan as the official language. However, only 33% of Andorrans are actually ethnic Andorrans. There has been a large number of immigrants from Spain (Catalonia and Galicia especially) but also Portugal and France (mostly North Africans) who have come to live and work in Andorra.
Andorra is a tax haven, and it’s tax haven status has come under fire after the G-20 summit, especially from Co-Prince (lol) Nicolas Sarkozy, who is all over this fiscal paradise stuff. The current Liberal (PLA) Premier, Albert Pintat, has said that he is committed to providing more information about non-citizens holding bank accounts in Andorra. He is negotiating tax treaties which would give Andorra, in return for fiscal transparency on its part, a removal of the Spanish and French duties on Andorran exports. The PLA is a traditional neoliberal party, and opposes taxation. The opposition Social Democrats (PS) have said that they favour the introduction of low income and value-added taxes as opposed to the current indirect taxation (levied on water, telecommunications and so forth). Another issue is Andorra’s relationship with the EEA. Andorra currently has a loose (economic, social, and cultural) bilateral agreement with the EU. The PS supports a full association agreement with the EEA, but the PLA is more reticent.
Andorra’s General Council of the Valleys has 28 councillors. Of these, half (14) are elected in a nationwide constituency using largest remainders method of PR. Each of Andorra’s seven parishes send two councillors to the General Council. The list winning the most votes in a parish wins both seats.
I outlined the two major parties above, the PLA and PS. The PLA is a neoliberal party, and the PSD is a typical PES party opposed to neoliberalism. Other parties include the Andorra for Change coalition, which includes the Democratic Renewal Party (a PS ally locally in 2005). Andorra for Change rejects any changes to the tax system. The Andorran Greens won 3.5% in 2005 but failed to win a seat.
As of now, 53% of the votes have been counted. For the 14 PR seats, the distribution of votes is as follows:
Social Democratic Party (PS) and Independents 44.87% (+6.8%) [6 PR seats in 2005]
Reformist Coalition (Liberals and local allies) 32.10% (-9.11%) [6 PR seats in 2005]
Andorra for Change 18.82% (+12.58%)
Andorran Greens 3.53% (+0.03%)
National Union for Progress 0.69% (new)
The Andorran Democratic Centre-21st Century alliance won 2 PR seats (10.99%) in 2004, but don’t seem to be running this time.
As for the parishes, here are the results. And here is a map.
Canillo (100%): Liberals 58%, PS 42%. Projection: 2 Liberals (nc)
Encamp (47%): PS 40%, Change 37%, Liberal 17%, Greenies 5%. Projection: 2 PS (nc)
Ordino (48%): PS 40%, Independents (PLA) 35%, Change 24%. Projection: TCTC (2 PLA in 2005)
La Massana (30%): Liberals 57%, PS 43%. Projection: 2 Liberals (nc)
Andorra la Vella (69%): PS 54%, Liberals 26%, Change 14%, Greenies 5%. Projection: 2 PS (nc)
Sant Julià de Lòria (68%): Liberals 58%, PS 35%, Change 13%. Projection: 2 Liberals (nc)
Escaldes-Engordany (62%): PS 42%, Liberals 31%, Change 22%, Greenies 5%. Projection: 2 PS (nc)
Ordino will decide the election outcome. It’s the swing parish! If the PS wins Ordino, it has 8 seats against 6 Liberals. In the PR vote, they’ll probably get 6 seats, against 4/5 Liberals, 3 Change, and potentially one Greenie. So, my calculations give around 14 seats for the Socialists, 10 or 11 Liberals, 3 Change, and maybe one Greenie (giving 10 Liberals in that case).