(Bloomberg) -- Spain set a deadline for exhuming the remains of the late dictator Francisco Franco from a state-built mausoleum as Socialist acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez fulfills a pledge made to supporters ahead of elections next month.
Franco’s coffin will leave the Valley of the Fallen basilica by Oct. 25, acting Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said in a news conference Friday following a cabinet meeting. Authorities will notify the Franco family of the time of the exhumation with 48 hours notice in a procedure that will be closed to the media, she said.
Moving the remains of Franco, who ruled Spain for nearly half a century after winning a bloody civil war, has been a longtime goal for the Socialists, who argue that the state tomb glorifies his triumph. Franco is set to be re-buried in a family crypt in a small cemetery outside Madrid.
“The dictator can’t be in a state tomb,” Calvo said. “We are 40 years late but we’ve been the government that in 15 months has made a decision, has carried it out and today we’re satisfied because we’re going to achieve it.”
The exhumation will take place weeks before Spaniards go back to the polls on Nov. 10 in the fourth election in as many years after Sanchez failed to form a government over the summer.
The Supreme Court this week removed the last legal obstacles to exhuming Franco from the mausoleum carved into a mountain northwest of Madrid where he was buried following his death in 1975.
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