Political Stalemate in Spain: Conservative Leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s Bid for Presidency Hits a Roadblock
A Failed Attempt
Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of Spain’s right-wing opposition party, Partido Popular (PP), has recognized his failure to form a majority to contend for the role of government president. Feijóo, during a plenary session of Congress, stated that he could secure the necessary votes to be sworn in as government president. However, he is unwilling to pay the demanded “price,” which involves aligning with the demands of certain parties, including Catalan ones.
This decision came as a consequence of the July elections, in which Feijóo led without a majority. The only way for the leader to secure sufficient support to be elected president was to comply with the demands of these parties, which he has refused to do.
Path Cleared for Pedro Sánchez
This setback for the right-wing leader opens up an opportunity for outgoing socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. Sánchez believes that he can secure the essential backing of Catalan separatists to form a majority. However, the separatists have demanded an amnesty measure, which has caused a division of public opinion. Around 40,000 PP supporters protested this demand in central Madrid last Sunday.
Investiture Votes and a Possible New Election
Tasked by King Felipe VI to form a government, Feijóo needed to secure a majority of 176 deputies out of 350. He could only count on 172 votes, primarily due to the support of the far-right Vox party. The alliance with Vox has deterred other parties from extending their support. A second vote, where a simple majority suffices, is due to take place on Friday. Unless there is a dramatic turn of events, the conservative leader will not be able to win. This failure will initiate a two-month countdown to new legislative elections.
The Challenge Ahead for Pedro Sánchez
During these crucial two months, Sánchez will attempt to gain the confidence of Parliament to be reappointed to power. This task is challenging for the Prime Minister, who must find a suitable amnesty formula that pleases the separatists without triggering rebellion within his own party. This idea of amnesty has raised opposition from certain influential members of his party, making his path to forming a government a delicate balancing act.
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