By Linda Hall •
Updated: 27 Oct 2023 • 11:28
NATIONAL PARLIAMENT: Pedro Sanchez has yet to announce a date for his investiture bid
Photo credit: Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo
PEDRO SANCHEZ, incumbent president of the Spanish government, is currently drumming up support for his investiture.
Sanchez and Sumar leader Yolanda Diaz announced on October 24 that they had agreed a future coalition agreement although this was no breakthrough.
Diaz is one of the PSOE-UP coalition governement’s many vice-presidents as well as Labour minister. She belongs to the Izquierda Unida party that is one half of Unidas Podemos, the other half of which is easily identified as Podemos.
Sumar is an entirely new party which groups together parties that are further Left than socialist PSOE. They include Podemos, which only joined Sumar with gritted teeth.
Party secretary general Ione Belarra and Irene Montero, the former partner of Podemos founder are respective ministers of Social Rights and Equality.
As Equality minister, Montero was responsible for the well-meaning but badly constructed and massively loopholed Only Yes Means Yes law. Intended to protect women from rape and all aspects of sexual abuse it has instead reduced the sentences of some of the men imprisoned for attacking them.
Podemos, created as a party in 2014 but with a rapidly-diminishing number of parliamentary seats, looks increasingly like a nine-year wonder although Belarra and Montero – both of whom are look very angry much of the time – believe that Diaz is quarantining them inside Sumar.
They are probably right and it will all end in tears if Pedro Sanchez ever manages to put together the 176 votes he needs to survive an investiture, not least because Podemos is insisting that Montoro should reprise her role as Equality minister.
But first things first.
Sanchez chided Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, whose Partido Popular party was the most-voted on July 23, for the long interval before his own investiture attempt on September 26 and 27.
After Feijoo failed to obtain those elusive 176 votes, King Felipe named Pedro Sanchez as the next presidential contender on October 3. Twenty-four days later he is no nearer telling MPs in the national parliament when they should save the date for another investiture debate.
On October 25 in Brussels, where Sanchez and other European leaders attended the Social Summit, he assured those present that his investiture was “getting nearer” but omitted to give further details, let alone a date.
As usual, Sanchez is taking care not to mention the word “amnesty.” Nevertheless, the word is uppermost in his mind because his chances of being re-elected president depend entirely on an amnesty for the politicians involved in Cataluña’s bungled Unilateral Declaration of Independence in October 2017.
Negotiations are ongoing with Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya who will probably settle for as much as Sanchez is willing to give. They are easier to deal with than Junts per Catalunya, whose president-in-exile Carles Puigdemont wants considerably more than Sanchez can legally agree to.
“Nothing is agreed until everything has been agreed,” Sanchez said recently, which sounds confident but suggests that he could be as much in the dark as anyone else.
Meanwhile, if he hasn’t set out his wares in the Congreso de los Diputados before November 27, there will be no escaping another general election.
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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?
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