20th June 2024
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Pedro Sánchez and Yolanda Díaz reach PSOE-Sumar coalition deal

Spain’s socialist PSOE party and the left-wing alliance of Sumar said on Tuesday that they have reached an agreement to form a coalition government, a key step to reinstating acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez for another term.

Spain is in political limbo since an inconclusive July general election which was won by the right-wing People’s Party (PP) but without enough support to form a government.

Last month PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo lost a key parliamentary vote to become prime minister. ALSO READ: After Feijóo fails in his bid to become Spain’s prime minister, what happens next?

Sánchez, whose PSOE party finished second, now has a chance. Sumar’s support is crucial but not enough to ensure he will pass a confidence vote in the Spanish Congress.

Sánchez still needs the backing of smaller regional parties, including the Catalan pro-indepedence parties, Junts per Catalaunya (JxCat) and Esquerra Republicana (ERC).

The deal reached between the PSOE and Sumar includes a proposal to reduce working hours without reducing salaries, measures to boost public housing and a ‘shock plan’ against youth unemployment, the two parties said in a joint statement.

‘This governing deal for a four-year legislative term will allow our country to continue growing in a sustainable manner and with quality employment, developing policies based on social and climate justice while broadening rights, feminist conquests and freedoms,’ they said.

Sánchez, in office since 2018, and the head of Sumar, acting Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz, officially ratified the deal at an event in Madrid just after midday on Tuesday.

No date has been set for Sánchez to face the confidence vote. If no candidate for prime minister secures a majority by 27 November, a repeat election will be called for January.

In exchange for its crucial support, JxCat is demanding an amnesty for hundreds of politicians and activists facing legal action over their role in Catalonia’s failed 2017 secession bid, which sparked Spain’s worst political crisis in decades. ALSO READ: Puigdemont demands ‘amnesty’ for all independence activists as ‘precondition’ for Sánchez’s investiture.

The proposed amnesty has angered the right and some elements within Sánchez’s party, who argue it jeopardises the rule of law. ALSO READ: Right-wing and far-right politicians join thousands in anti-amnesty rally in Barcelona.

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