13 Mar, 2023 @ 17:45
2 mins read

Date set for second motion of no confidence against Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

Pedro Sanchez
Cordon Press

THE SPEAKER in Spain’s lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies, has confirmed the date that a motion of no confidence will be debated against the Socialist Party Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. 

The session will begin on March 21 and will end with a vote on March 22. The initiative, however, is doomed to fail due to a lack of support from all the parties in Congress but one. 

The motion of no confidence, the second to be filed against Sanchez, is the initiative of far-right Vox, which is the third-biggest party in Congress after the Socialists – who govern in coalition with leftist Unidas Podemos – and the main opposition Popular Party (PP).

Rather than fielding one of their own deputies as the candidate to replace Sanchez in case of victory, they have instead opted for veteran politician and economist Ramon Tamames, a figure historically linked to the left rather than the extreme-right politics of Vox. 

The motion will be debated at a key moment in Spanish politics, with regional and municipal elections due to take place at the end of May. What’s more, there will be a general election at the end of this year. 

While the date has now been set for the motion of no confidence, there are still other factors that need to be defined. Tamames, for example, is 89 years old, and there are concerns as to where he should be seated given that he will have to make regular trips up and down from the lectern during what will be a marathon parliamentary session. 

Barring any last-minute surprises, the motion is doomed to failure given that it only counts on the support of Vox. 

Sanchez has no obligation to take part in the debate, but according to press reports he is likely to do so given that the Socialists believe the initiative will work in their favour. 

The prime minister is expected to use the motion to show citizens the two different models of government that are likely to be on the table after the general elections: the current, progressive coalition of the PSOE and Unidas Podemos, or the conservative PP backed by far-right Vox. 

The government is reported to be trying to link the motion with the PP, although the party leader Alberto Nuñez Feijoo has been trying to distance himself and his group from the initiative. 

Speaking on Monday, in comments reported by Europa Press, Feijoo said that Vox was giving Sanchez a chance ‘to shine’ at the no confidence motion debate, where he will be able to talk ‘about whatever he likes’ instead of offering explanations about the ‘problems’ of Spaniards and the ‘scandals’ that have recently hit the party. 

These ‘scandals’ include allegations of a corrupt network of deputies within the PSOE as well as controversial laws such as the ‘only yes means yes’ sexual consent legislation, and the so-called ‘Trans law’.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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