Spain: announced failure of the inauguration of the leader of the right

The leader of the Spanish right, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, is seeking the post of Prime Minister before Parliament from Tuesday

Spain: announced failure of the inauguration of the leader of the right

The leader of the Spanish right, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, is seeking the post of Prime Minister before Parliament from Tuesday. A candidacy doomed, barring any major surprises, to failure for the conservative, who came first in the elections at the end of July but without a majority.

If confirmed, this failure will open the way to a candidacy of the outgoing socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, convinced for his part of being able to obtain the essential support of the Catalan separatists who are demanding in exchange an amnesty measure dividing public opinion.

Justifying his upcoming rout, the conservative assured, during a speech lasting more than an hour and a half before the deputies, that "no end justified the means, not even the presidency of the government".

Omitting to say that the extreme right, fiercely anti-independence, would no longer support him if he accepted the Catalan demands, he assured that he "had the votes necessary to be head of government within reach" but did not want to " pay the price".

Aware of being faced with an insoluble equation, the leader of the Popular Party (PP), who was charged by King Felipe VI with trying to form a government, has been attacking for weeks the ongoing discussions between his socialist rival and the Catalan independence party of Carles Puigdemont, leader of the 2017 secession attempt.

The latter, who fled to Belgium to escape legal proceedings, demands amnesty for the separatists pursued by the Spanish courts in exchange for the support, crucial in a very fragmented Parliament, of the seven deputies of his party.

"What the independence movement is asking for (...) is a direct attack on the essential democratic values ​​of our country" and if such an amnesty were confirmed, it would only meet the needs of "one person", continued Mr. Feijóo in front of the deputies, in a direct allusion to Mr. Sánchez, seated in the hemicycle.

At the end of the debates, the leader of the PP will submit his candidacy to a vote of 350 deputies on Wednesday. To be invested, he will need to obtain an absolute majority of 176 deputies. However, he can only count on 172 votes, mainly thanks to the support of the far right of Vox which acts as a scarecrow for other groups.

A second vote, where a simple majority is enough, will then take place on Friday. But, barring a twist, he will not be able to win either.

“Mr Feijóo, everyone knows that you do not have the support to be Prime Minister and that very soon, you will not have them to chair your party either,” said the socialist deputy Oscar Puente, who took the podium. unlike Pedro Sánchez, which caused the Prime Minister to be called "cowardly" by right-wing deputies.

Mr. Feijóo's announced setback in Wednesday's first vote will launch a two-month countdown before the convening of new legislative elections.

During these two months, Mr. Sánchez - who defied all the polls giving him a clear loss during the legislative elections of July 23 - will in turn try to obtain the confidence of Parliament to be returned to power.

A highly perilous exercise for the Prime Minister who must find an amnesty formula that will satisfy the separatists without triggering a revolt within his own party.

And all the more perilous since the Catalan pro-independence regional president, Pere Aragonès, on Tuesday set the bar even higher by estimating that the amnesty would not be "enough" and should be followed by the opening of negotiations on the organization of a self-determination referendum.

In this context, the PP has tried in recent days to open a breach within the Socialist Party by calling on the deputies of this formation opposed to the amnesty to reconsider their position vis-à-vis the investiture of Feijóo.

A call for “defection” denounced on Sunday by Mr. Sánchez as “the worst corruption”.

The socialist, who has proven in recent years his great ability to survive politically, displays his optimism about his ability to be returned to power with the support of the far left and the Basque and Catalan parties.

The PP "demonstrates against a socialist government", he said during a meeting, referring to Sunday's rally in Madrid, "but I'm sorry, there will be a socialist government" soon invested by Parliament.

09/26/2023 17:50:13 -         Madrid (AFP) -         © 2023 AFP