The leader in Spain has become the target of a smear campaign in the run up to elections, and it has taken the country by storm.
The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, was branded a “leader of spanish fascism” after he was accused of using a red star on his car to announce his victory over his rival, Pablo Iglesias, in a snap election.
Rajoy has vehemently denied any links to fascist groups and said his victory would mean “totally respecting the will of the Spanish people”.
His opponent, Iglesia, has accused the government of using the star to undermine the election result, with Iglesis’ supporters calling it “a political trick”.
His supporters also claimed that the Spanish flag had been changed to a red one.
The flag in question is the Spanish version of the US flag, which is red for independence, blue for the United States and a white star for Spain.
But, as with the US, Spain’s political parties have no formal connection with the flag, making it hard to identify its origin.
And so it has been in Spain, with political parties using the flag to support candidates.
Rojoy, the former finance minister, has said he did not know what he had done.
But the flag controversy was not limited to Rajoy.
The leader of the conservative People’s Party, Pablo Martinez Cardenas, has also been accused of a double standard.
The party leader was widely criticised after using the red flag on his way to the polls.
But, like Rajoy’s campaign, he was unable to secure enough votes to win.
So, as it happened, the party that won the election had an “I love Spain” flag on its campaign posters.