Report updated to include votes from Spaniards living abroad.
The options to form a government have diminished considerably for Spain’s right-wing People’s Party (PP) despite their win in last Sunday’s general election, after two small regional parties refused to lend their support due to the potential presence of the far-right Vox party in the cabinet.
Alberto Nuñez Feijóo’s PP group won the most votes in the election, finishing with 137 seats, but far short of the 176 majority figure required in the 350-seat Spanish Congress. ALSO READ: Spain’s right-wing PP win the election, but not a majority, even with far-right Vox.
Feijóo has tried garnering support from other parties but the numbers don’t add up. As of Tuesday, he only has the support of Vox, with 33 seats and Navarra’s ‘Union del Pueblo Navarro’ (UPN) party, with just one seat.
On Monday, the Basque region’s EAJ–PNV nationalist party with five seats and the Canary Coalition with one both said they would not support any government with Vox party members in it.
‘The president of the EAJ-PNV, Andoni Ortuzar, has telephoned tonight [Monday] the president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who had previously tried to contact him throughout the day,’ the Basque party said in a statement.
In that phone call ‘Ortuzar has transferred to Feijóo the refusal of EAJ-PNV to start talks in order to facilitate his investiture’, the party stated. This was decided by the party’s refusal at all times ‘to support any governance formula that counts on Vox’.
Ortuzar himself has denounced, on previous occasions, that the PP has ‘normalised’ a situation where Vox ‘can enter to govern’ in regional governments and institutions, and has warned that the PNV is not going to enter, ‘in any way’, in ‘the PP-Vox equation’ to ‘take a trip to the past’.
As for the Canary Coalition, its spokeswoman in Congress, Ana Oramas, said the party is not going to support a ‘ghost investiture’ in which Feijóo does not have the numbers.
The president of the PP had cited four parties among the contacts that he was maintaining to obtain his investiture. Two have now said no. The other two are Vox and UPN.
Meanwhile, focus has now shifted toward the Catalan pro-independence party, Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), and whether it will vote for acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez forming a coalition government between his PSOE socialist party and the left-wing Sumar formation, led by his current second deputy prime minister, Yolanda Díaz. The PSOE and Sumar have 152 seats between them and are intent on forming a government should Feijóo fail to.
Sánchez’s previous coalition government relied on support from myriad small groups for the past four years, including the Catalan pro-independence ERC party, but not JxCat, which is led by former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont. ALSO READ: Spain’s public prosecutor requests new EU arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont.
The 350 newly-elected MPs take their seats on 17 August and will have three months to vote in a new prime minister. Otherwise, a new election will take place.
El presidente del Euzkadi Buru Batzar, Andoni Ortuzar, ha telefoneado esta noche al presidente del Partido Popular, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, quien había tratado de contactarle previamente a lo largo del día de hoy.— EAJ-PNV (@eajpnv) July 24, 2023
Ortuzar ha trasladado a Núñez Feijóo la negativa de EAJ-PNV a… pic.twitter.com/On6wlaisAd