Secretary-GeneralArkaitz Rodriguez
Founded9 February 2011 (2011-02-09)
Preceded byBatasuna
HeadquartersBilbao, Basque Country
Youth wingErnai
IdeologyAbertzale Left
Left-wing nationalism
Basque independentism
Soft Euroscepticism[1][2]
Political positionLeft-wing
National affiliationEH Bildu
EH Bai
European Parliament groupEuropean United Left–Nordic Green Left
Trade union affiliationLangile Abertzaleen Batzordeak
Congress of Deputies
1 / 23
Basque seats
Spanish Senate
1 / 20
Basque seats
European Parliament
1 / 54
Spanish seats
Basque Parliament
12 / 75
Parliament of Navarre
4 / 50

Sortu (English: Create)[3] is a Basque socialist political party. Founded in February 2011, it is the first political party belonging to the Basque nationalist "abertzale left" that openly rejects any kind of political violence.[4] Before Sortu, sections of the Basque nationalist left who rejected ETA's violence left the movement and founded another party, Aralar, to represent that element of the abertzale left.


At a press conference on 8 February 2011, party supporters backed a Basque state "within a European Union framework, via exclusively peaceful and political channels." They further rejected all violence "categorically and without hesitation...including that of ETA."[5]

The Guardian and other papers described the party as a new iteration of the Batasuna, ETA's political wing, which has been banned since 2003.[6] The District Attorney of the Basque Country High Court, however, stated that the two parties are not the same and that Sortu "has said things never previously said."[7] The Spanish government announced in January 2011 that it will ask the courts to rule on the legality of the new party. "If this rejection of violence included in the statutes of the new party allow for the end of this situation of illegality or not, it is a decision that is up to judges" said Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba.[8]

As of 23 March 2011, Sortu will not be able to register as a political party with the Interior Ministry. This was decided by the "61st chamber" of the Supreme Court, which considered the new party to be sponsored by the "Basque nationalist left" as the successor to Batasuna, therefore in affiliation with ETA. After deliberating for 12 hours, the ruling was passed with the support of most magistrates; however, three magistrates voted against the ban. According to most magistrates, the evidence of the links between ETA and the eighth political party created by the Basque nationalist left is so solid that the rejection of violence contained in the statutes is now of secondary importance.[9]

In response to the decision, some members of Sortu, together with other allies, formed a new political coalition, Bildu. Bildu itself was initially banned, but the decision was overturned and Bildu was allowed to participate and went on to receive 26% of the vote in May 2011 regional elections.[10]

Finally, on 20 June 2012, Sortu was legalized by the Constitutional Court, by only a 1-vote difference. Sortu is a member of EH Bildu political coalition with other left-wing independentist political groups.

Electoral performance

Basque Parliament

Date Votes Seats Status Size
# % ±pp # ±
2012 277,923 24.7% Opposition *
2016 255,172 21.1% –3.6 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 Opposition *

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2013-02-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_FN0Z8OL8o
  3. ^ Landsford, T. (2014) Political Handbook of the World 2014, p. 1343 ISBN 978-1-4833-3328-1
  4. ^ "Sortu nace con el objetivo de colocar el independentismo en el "carril central" de la sociedad". Gara (in Spanish). gara.net. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  5. ^ "Teachers and employees from different fields get behind Sortu". EiTB. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  6. ^ Burgen, Stephen (7 February 2011). "'New' Eta political wing rejects violence". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  7. ^ "District Attorney says Batasuna and Sortu, two different parties". EiTB. 8 February 2011.
  8. ^ "Spain will ask courts to rule on legality of new party". AFP. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  9. ^ "Spanish supreme court bans Basque separatist party Sortu for links to ETA". BBC Monitoring European. BBC Worldwide Limited. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  10. ^ "Spanish Constitutional Court lifts ban on Bildu". Retrieved 2011-05-24.

External links

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