|The Most Excellent
Francisco Javier López
López in Leioa, 2010
|Lehendakari of the Basque Country|
7 May 2009 – 15 December 2012
|Monarch||Juan Carlos I|
|Preceded by||Juan Jose Ibarretxe|
|Succeeded by||Iñigo Urkullu|
|Member of the Basque Parliament|
15 March 1991
|Member of the Congress of Deputies|
17 November 1987 – 2 September 1989
|Born||Francisco Javier López Álvarez
October 4, 1959
Portugalete, Biscay, Basque Country, Spain
Francisco Javier "Patxi" López Álvarez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpatʃi ˈlopeθ]; born 4 October 1959) is a Spanish socialist politician and the former president of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. He was the Secretary-General of the Socialist Party of Euskadi - Euskadiko Ezkerra (PSE-EE) from 2002 to 2014, which is the Basque affiliate of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE).
López, born into a socialist family, was influenced early in life by the political stance of his father, Eduardo López Albizu, a prominent Spanish left-wing anti-Francoist activist. He joined the Young Basque Socialist movement in 1975, and was its Secretary-General from 1985 to 1988. He joined PSE in 1977, and was elected to the Spanish Congress of Deputies at the 1986 General Election representing Vizcaya Province. In the PSE he rose steadily to prominence before being elected Secretary-General in 1997, having become a Member of the Basque Parliament in 1991.
López is known for his opposition to Basque independence. In 2005, he was the PSE-EE's candidate for the presidency of the Basque Country, but lost out to Juan José Ibarretxe of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV).
In the 2009 election, the Nationalist Party was the party with the most votes with 30 seats, followed by the Socialist Party, with 25 seats. The illegalisation of a party representing a sizeable voting segment, the Left Basque Nationalist Party Batasuna enabled the socialists to reach an agreement with the People's Party for López to be elected as Lehendakari (Basque president). He was elected to the position on May 5, 2009 in the Basque Parliament, effectively ending thirty years of Basque nationalist rule in the Basque Country, in what was perceived as a very polemic election due to the absence of any party representing the secessionist Left Basque Nationalist spectrum.
Juan José Ibarretxe
|Lehendakari of the Basque Country