MARIANO Rajoy will run for prime minister again.
The current Spain leader made the announcement during a radio interview this week, but said there were a few conditions.
“My plan right now is to try to be a candidate again,” said the Partido Popular (PP) leader .
“My party has to want it too. Let’s see how things evolve, but I will certainly give it a try because we are headed in the right direction.”
His commitment to re-running has been described as an attempt to allay the embattled governing conservatives, who are fighting off three different corruption cases – Gurtel, Punica and Lezo.
A recent poll also showed Ciudadanos would win a general election if it was held tomorrow, while the Catalunya crisis is doing little to win over voters.
Some PP officials said Rajoy’s statement suggests he might not run for a third term if his two main goals fail to materialize: a full economic recovery and a solution to the Catalan crisis.
These sources said it is unlikely that the economy will take a wrong turn between now and 2020, the year of the next general election, meaning Catalunya will be the deciding factor in Rajoy’s bid for re-election.
“This is the first time that he has cast doubts on his own nomination as a candidate. But he will run in the end. There is nobody better than him,” said one PP official.
“He said that he feels strong enough, that he plans to run… and also that we’ll see how things go. Which means that he said yes and no at the same time,” noted a second party official.
“The point was to not show any weakness in his internal and external authority, and to relay a message of calm for this country’s institutional stability.”