EH Bildu

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Basque Country Unite
Euskal Herria Bildu
Leader Arnaldo Otegi
Founded 2011
Merger of
Ideology Basque nationalism
Left-wing nationalism
(Abertzale left)
Political position Left-wing[1][2][3]
International affiliation None
European Parliament group European United Left–
Nordic Green Left
Congress of Deputies (Basque seats)
2 / 23
Senate of Spain (Basque seats)
1 / 20
European Parliament (Spanish seats)
1 / 54
Basque Parliament
18 / 75
Parliament of Navarre
8 / 50
Juntas Generales/Batzar Nagusiak
39 / 153
Town councilors in Southern Basque Country (2015-2019)
1,195 / 3,085

EH Bildu, short for Euskal Herria Bildu (English: Basque Country Unite[4][5] or Basque Country Gather[6][7][8][9]) is a leftist, Basque nationalist and pro-independence political coalition active in the Spanish autonomous communities of Basque Country and Navarre.

EHB's predecessor Bildu ("Gather") was launched on 3 April 2011 to participate in the May 2011 local elections[10] It was formed as a reaction to the Supreme Court of Spain's ruling in March 2011 that barred the new left-wing Basque nationalist (Abertzale left) Sortu party from electoral participation. Bildu was an alliance of the centre-left Eusko Alkartasuna, left-wing Alternatiba and independents of the left-wing nationalist spectrum, many of whom former members or supporters of the outlawed Batasuna party.

EHB was launched on 10 June 2012 in San Sebastián by five founding components: Eusko Alkartasuna, Aralar, Alternatiba, Sortu, and independents of the Abertzale left (groups and independent individuals from the Basque leftist-nationalist milieu, many of whom had been members of Batasuna), all of whom had been previously members of the Amaiur coalition.[11] On 3 July 2012 Laura Mintegi was chosen as candidate for Lehendakari in the 2012 Basque parliamentary election.[12] Mintegi, a professor at the University of the Basque Country, formerly stood as a candidate for Herri Batasuna.[13]


Formation of Bildu[edit]

Bildu was formed as a response to the March 2011 ruling by the Supreme Court of Spain that banned a new Basque party called Sortu from being registered. Bildu was a coalition of the social-democratic Eusko Alkartasuna, Alternatiba (a splinter group of Ezker Batua) and independent individuals from the Basque leftist-nationalist environment, originating from the outlawed Batasuna party. Bildu was banned by the Supreme Court as well, due to their alleged ties to Batasuna, the alleged political wing of ETA. The decision to ban Bildu resulted in street protests in Bilbao and other cities. However, on 5 May 2011, exactly the day the election campaign started off, the Constitutional Court of Spain lifted the ban and Bildu was allowed to take part in elections.[14]

2011 regional and local elections[edit]

Interview to Joseba Asiron, EH Bildu mayor of Pamplona (June 2015)

At the 2011 local elections Bildu received 26% of the vote in the Basque region, coming second only to the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV).[15] The party won seats in most of the councils of the Southern Basque Country, including San Sebastián (where it came up first), Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Pamplona.

2011 general election[edit]

For the 2011 general election Eusko Alkartasuna, Alternatiba and their allies formed a new alliance, under the name Amaiur, along with Aralar, previously part of Nafarroa Bai, and other abertzale (i.e., Basque nationalist) groups.

2012 Basque Parliament Elections[edit]

In the election for the Basque Parliament that took place on 21 October 2012, EH Bildu the second most seats after the more established EAJ-PNV.[16][17] The coalition party won 21 out of 75 seats with 25% of the popular vote. No single party won a majority in this election.

2014 European Parliament election[edit]

In the 2014 European Parliament election EH Bildu participated as part of the list The Peoples Decide (LPD), comprising left-wing nationalist and separatist parties from several autonomous regions of Spain. On the first position of that list was EHB member Josu Juaristi who was elected member of the European parliament. He joined the group of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL).

Electoral performance[edit]

Basque Parliament[edit]

Election Leader Votes % # Seats Legislative role
2012 Laura Mintegi 277,923 24.67 #2
21 / 75
2016 Maddalen Iriarte 225.172 21.26 #2
18 / 75

Parliament of Navarre[edit]

Election Leader Votes % # Seats Legislative role
2011 Maiorga Ramírez 42,916 13.28 #4
7 / 50
Third party
2015 Adolfo Araiz 48,166 14.25 #3
8 / 50

Cortes Generales[edit]

Election Leader Votes % # Seats Legislative role
Congress Senate
2015 Marian Beitialarrangoitia 219,125 0.87 #10
2 / 350
0 / 208
Third party
2016 184,713 0.77 #9
2 / 350
0 / 208
Third party

Basque Country[edit]

Election Votes % # Seats
Congress Senate
2015 219,125 15.06 #3
2 / 18
0 / 12
2016 184,713 13.28 #4
2 / 18
0 / 12


Election Votes % # Seats
Congress Senate
2015 34,939 9.89 #4
0 / 5
0 / 4
2016 31,374 9.36 #4
0 / 5
0 / 4


  1. ^ Kassam, Ashifa (4 November 2015). "Basque secessionists follow Catalans in push for independence". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  2. ^ Hedgecoe, Guy (16 November 2016). "Spain exhumes conspirators whose coup sparked civil war". The Irish Times. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  3. ^ Morel, Sandrine (25 September 2016). "En Espagne, le parti de Rajoy renforcé par des régionales en Galice et au Pays basque". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  4. ^ "Basque party snubs vote condemning Paris attack". 9 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Tim Lewis (22 March 2015). "Another Country: Inside The Basque Region". Esquire. 
  6. ^ Sanjay Jeram; Daniele Conversi (2014). Deliberation and Democracy at the End of Armed Conflict: Postconflict Opportunities in the Basque Country. Democratic Deliberation in Deeply Divided Societies: From Conflict to Common Ground. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 53. 
  7. ^ David Lublin (2014). Minority Rules: Electoral Systems, Decentralization, and Ethnoregional Party Success. Oxford University Press. p. 197. 
  8. ^ Santiago Pérez-Nievas; Teresa Mata López (2013). "The 2012 Basque Country Regional Election: Back to Nationalist Rule in the Context of the Economic Crisis" (PDF). Asociación Española de Ciencia Política y de la Administración (AECPA). 
  9. ^ Ryan Barnes (10 January 2013). "Basque and Catalan Nationalism: An Evolution". Fair Observer. 
  10. ^ (in Spanish) "Bildu presenta las bases de su programa electoral para el 22-M", Gara, 2011-04-03. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Spanish Constitutional Court lifts ban on Bildu". Xinhua News. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  15. ^ "New Basque Coalition Bildu Surges in Basque Local Elections". Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
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