Wednesday, June 12, 2024
 
 

Sánchez wins parliamentary vote, Spain gets coalition government

EPA-EFE/JUAN CARLOS HIDALGO
Spanish acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez poses after he was reelected in charge by the Lower House in Madrid, Spain, 07 January 2020, at the end of the second investiture vote session in Madrid, Spain, 07 January 2019.

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Spain’s caretaker Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, narrowly won on Tuesday a second investiture vote by a simple majority of 167 to 165 votes with 18 abstentions and will now lead Spain’s first coalition government after decades.
The investiture session that began on Saturday and was put to a first vote on Sunday, did not give Sánchez an absolute majority, however on Tuesday’s second round, the socialist leader only needed more votes in favour than against.
“I trust that we can overcome the atmosphere of irritation and tension and that we can recover a space for consensus and for agreement,” Sánchez said prior to the vote.
Smaller regional parties were crucial to Sánchez’s majority, with the Basque Nationalist Party, the More Country (Mas Pais), the Compromise Coalition (Compromís), the New Canaries (Nueva Canarias), the Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) and the Teruel Exists (Teruel Existe) backing the Socialist leader.
Yet, Sánchez victory was secured by the abstention of the pro-independence Catalan Republic Party (ECR), as the Socialist leader agreed to open a formal dialogue on the future of Catalonia, if confirmed as PM.
The parliamentary vote ended a long-lasting political deadlock in the country as the rise of new parties in Spain over the past five years has thwarted the formation of governments.
Although the Socialist Party (PSOE) finished first in both national elections held in Spain within nine months, it did not manage to get a parliamentary majority and eventually agreed to reach a government pact with the leftist party of Unidas Podemos (UP). 

The PSOE leader will co-govern with the anti-austerity alliance led by Pablo Iglesias. To the many opposition members questioning the legitimacy of the coalition government, Sánchez answered that “there are only two options: a progressive coalition or more deadlock for Spain.”
According to El País, Sánchez could be sworn in and appoint his cabinet as early as Wednesday. The priorities of the new joint government include corporate taxes and tax increases on high-income earners, increasing minimum wage and reversing part of previous labour market reforms.
 
 

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