Sanchez vows to avoid election after parliamentary setback
Spain’s acting prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, says he wants to avoid another general election and will try again to form a working coalition.
“I’m not going to throw in the towel,” Sanchez told Tele 5. The four political parties needed “to reflect on what happened and unblock this situation”, the Socialist leader said.
Sanchez failed in his parliamentary confidence vote, his second defeat this week, after his Socialist party failed to agree a coalition with the anti-austerity Podemos.
In parliament, Thursday’s confidence vote on Sanchez was 124-155, representing the PP, Ciudadanos, Vox and Catalan, Canaries and Navarra regional groups, with 67 abstentions. The 124 votes in favour were made up of Sánchez’s party colleagues and the one Cantabria regional party MP.
Another election will need to held in November if no agreement is reached.
It would be Spain’s fourth general election in under four years.
The Socialists offered Podemos the vice presidency and three ministries.
However, Podemos demanded the Labour Ministry to join a new government, which was excluded in Sanchez’s proposal.
The Socialists rejected the offer, saying it was “more of the same” from earlier negations which failed to find a deal, according to the Spanish media.
Sanchez has two months to continue his efforts to secure a majority and go back to parliament, if invited to do so by King Felipe. If he fails, the king will probably dissolve parliament and call another election, unless other parties can form a majority.
Sanchez has been trying to gain the support of Podemos to form a majority. Even though it abstained in the confidence vote, Podemos, led by Pablo Iglesias, left open the possibility of working with the Socialists.
Iglesias has since indicated that he would be willing to withdraw his demand that a Podemos MP should be appointed as minister of work. If that does not happen by September 23, another early election will probably be held on November 10.
Sanchez said the right-of-centre parties, the People’s Party and Ciudadanos, must help break the deadlock amid the ongoing Catalan separatist crisis and the fallout from the 2008 financial meltdown. “And my duty is to form a government. I will speak to the other parties,” the reforming premier said.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has made several interesting reforms since taking over as a minority leader. Picture credit: Wikimedia