Busy times for Spain’s presidential candidates

Busy times for Spain’s presidential candidates

ESPERANZA AGUIRRE: President of the Madrid Community between 2003 and 2012 Photo credit: CC/Partido Popular Comunidad de Madrid

THE Partido Popular’s presidential candidate Alberto Nuñez Feijoo is preparing for a two-day investiture debate on September 26 and 27.

If he is to be in a position to form a government, this means he must receive votes from MPs belonging to other parties as well as those from Vox.

Meanwhile, Feijoo’s PSOE counterpart and the Moncloa Palace’s current tenant, Pedro Sanchez, will  have a shot at forming a government in October, as it’s generally agreed that Feijoo cannot win an investiture vote.

Although their confidence could be misplaced, the socialists are hoping for a repetition of the August 17 parliamentary session when the PSOE’s candidate for Speaker, Francina Armengol, defeated the PP candidate with an overall majority thanks to votes from the separatist Catalan party, Junts per Catalunya.

Spain’s nationalist parties in Galicia, the Basque Region and Cataluña will listen politely to Feijoo’s proposals and sweeteners during his contacts with them.  But all the time they will have their ears pricked, keener to hear what Sanchez will promise in exchange for their support

Most of Spain’s autonomous governments, PP and PSOE alike, claim that they are under-financed. It wasn’t so long ago that unlikely bedfellows Juanma Moreno from Andalucia and the Valencian Community’s then-regional president, the socialist Ximo Puig, agreed to join forces to demand a fairer shareout of the national government’s cash allocations.

Sanchez will also have to contend with a certain air of disapproval  from one of his own “barons”, Emilio Garcia-Page, regional president of  Castilla-La Mancha who has never been happy about political and financial concessions made to Cataluña’s pro-independence parties.  Nor has he approved of the PSOE government’s occasional parliamentary support received from EH-Bildu, the former political arm of the ETA terrorist group.

Garcia-Page is easily identified as one of the “good socialists” who, the PP has hinted, might be willing – not necessarily to cross the chamber floor – but to abstain in Feijoo’s investiture vote.

Garcia-Page assured an El Pais interviewer that the very idea was preposterous although Feijoo and some in the PSOE party hierarchy are aware that he has never been one of Pedro Sanchez’s greatest fans.

The PSOE still remembers the “tamayazo” of 2003 when Eduardo Tamayo and Maria Teresa Saez, newly-elected PSOE regional MPs in the Madrid Assembly, abstained in a vote that twice scuppered most-voted Rafael Simancas’ chances of regional president.

This resulted in another election which enthroned Esperanza Aguirre as regional president, a manoeuvre the PSOE has never forgotten or forgiven.

And although another “tamayazo” is unlikely, Feijoo could nevertheless be hoping for lightning to strike twice.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.