Tuesday, February 20, 2007

II República: Portela quits, Azaña takes over

After the election, rumors circulated, according to Gil Robles, leader of the rightist CEDA, that he would retire from politics (see No fue posible la paz, 491-2); order began to break down in some areas as the President authorized Prime Minister Portela to declare a state of war; Calvo Sotelo and others suggested that a coup be carried out, but Franco and Portela declined; Gil Robles tried to talk Portela into staying in office until the second round was held and the Cortes met, but he refused.

Therefore, on February 19, 1936, as it became clear that the Popular Front had won the (last) elections in the Second Spanish Republic, Manuel Azaña, leader of the Izquierda Republicana, the most moderate of the Popular Front parties, was appointed prime minister by President Niceto Alcalá-Zamora. The government was comprised entirely of figures from Republican Left and the smaller Republican Union party, with no Socialist participation.

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