Spain’s socialist acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has rejected a proposal made by Alberto Núñez Feijóo to support his right-wing People’s Party (PP) for a two-year government term, Feijóo told reporters on Wednesday.
The PP won the most seats but came short of a working majority in the 23 July general election, and Feijóo is trying to find support in the Spanish Congress to secure his investiture in a vote on 27 September. He had asked Sánchez in a meeting earlier on Wednesday to back him in exchange for policy pacts. ALSO READ: King Felipe instructs Feijóo to try and form government, yet without guaranteed support.
‘Unfortunately, what I have obtained, as far as I understood, is a no,’ Feijóo told reporters after the meeting.
Sánchez did not talk to the media, but his PSOE party’s spokesperson Pilar Alegria confirmed to reporters the party will not support Feijóo’s premiership bid.
‘The failed investiture is Feijóo’s attempt to save his skin,’ she said [see Tweet below]. ‘He’s gone from being disparaging about sanchismo, to begging sanchismo.’
The term ‘sanchismo’ had been used by the PP before and during the election campaign in a derogatory manner to criticise the government policies of Sánchez.
In a written document handed to Sánchez, the PP leader had said the two-year government would be extended if both parties agreed. Legislatures normally last four years in Spain.
The PP finally won 137 seats (up 48 from 2019) in the July election, but even with the support of the far-right Vox party (33 seats), it is not enough to secure the 176 majority required. Together with the support from two minor parties with one seat each (the Unión del Pueblo Navarra and the Coalición Canaria), Feijóo currently has the support of 172 MPs.
He still needs to convince another group to back him or abstain in a second vote to be able to form a government.
Six ‘state pacts’ proposal
Feijóo delivered a 12-page document to Sánchez with his proposal for the next legislature, in which the PP government would activate six state pacts.
The first state pact of the PP is a commitment to defend ‘the territorial integrity of the Spanish nation’ and reject ‘requests for a referendum on independence and amnesty’.
The second is a ‘pact of democratic regeneration’ that preserves the ‘division of powers and the independence of control bodies’, starting with the judges.
The third is a ‘pact for the welfare state’ that guarantees the viability of the health system, the education system, equality between men and women, and pensions.
The fourth is a ‘pact for economic recovery’ that ‘guarantees the solvency of the most vulnerable and the middle class’.
The fifth is a ‘pact for families’ to ‘make conciliation possible’ and work with social agents to find formulas to make work and family life compatible.
The sixth is a ‘national water pact’ to guarantee ‘access to this basic resource’.
Pedro Sánchez prefiere negociar con las minorías independentistas sobre amnistías, referéndum y desigualdad entre los españoles.— Alberto Núñez Feijóo (@NunezFeijoo) August 30, 2023
Sigo defendiendo un gran acuerdo nacional para frenar esta deriva, que perjudica a España y a sus ciudadanos. pic.twitter.com/wGoecJ1z6S
La investidura fallida es el intento de Feijóo de salvar su pellejo.— Pilar Alegría (@Pilar_Alegria) August 30, 2023
Ha pasado de derogar el sanchismo, a rogar al sanchismo. pic.twitter.com/5JAIWgnndo