28 Aug, 2023 @ 19:15
1 min read

Spain’s caretaker prime minister agrees to meeting with Popular Party leader ahead of investiture vote

King Felipe VI and PP leader Alberto Nuñez Feijoo
MADRID , 22/08/2023.-El rey Felipe VI recibe al líder del PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo (d), en la última de sus siete entrevistas con dirigentes políticos antes de decidir qué candidato propondrá para que se someta en el Congreso a la investidura como presidente del Gobierno , este martes en el Palacio de la Zarzuela. EFE/ Sebastian Mariscal Martinez POOL

SPAIN’S caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Monday agreed to a face-to-face meeting with opposition Popular Party leader Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, as the conservative politician continues to seek support to be voted into power in the wake of the inconclusive July 23 general election. 

The announcement comes after the PP made it clear that Feijoo wanted to ‘know the position’ of the Socialist Party chief ahead of an investiture vote in Congress that has been called for September 26 and 27. 

The PP won the July 23 snap election but fell well short of a majority in the lower house of parliament. Not even with the votes of the far-right party Vox does Feijoo have the 176 votes he needs in the 350-seat chamber for his bid for power to prosper. Opinion polls had predicted that a PP-Vox coalition was the most likely outcome of the election.

Feijoo will count on the votes of Vox at the investiture vote, as well as two votes in total from two small parties. But due to the extreme policies of the far-right group, no other party is willing to lend its support and vote the Galician politician in as prime minister. 

“It will be extraordinarily difficult to win the investiture vote, but not impossible,” a PP representative told Spanish media outlets on Monday. 

“We will speak with everyone except with Vox,” sources from the Socialist Party stated in response to the PP’s call for the bilateral talks between Sanchez and Feijoo. 

Spain’s King Felipe VI proposed Feijoo as the candidate for an investiture vote after a round of talks last week with the country’s political parties. He did so on the basis that the PP was the most-voted party, and in the knowledge that Feijoo’s bid is almost certainly doomed to fail. 

Sanchez, meanwhile, whose party also fell well short of a majority at the July 23 elections, can count on the support of new leftist alliance Sumar as well as a number of smaller parties. 

It is still far from clear, however, whether he can muster the 176 votes needed for an absolute majority. To do so, he will have to secure the backing of pro-independence party Together for Catalonia, which is seeking major concessions in return in its bid for the region’s independence from the rest of Spain.

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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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