All set for far-right motion of no confidence in Spain with former communist as candidate

89-year-old Ramón Tamames' bid to oust PM Pedro Sánchez will start on Tuesday but has no chance of success

Ramón Tamames, Vox candidate for PM, and party leader Santiago Abascal arrive for a press conference at Congress
Ramón Tamames, Vox candidate for PM, and party leader Santiago Abascal arrive for a press conference at Congress / Andrea Zamorano
Guifré Jordan

Guifré Jordan | @enGuifre | Barcelona

March 20, 2023 11:38 AM

Spain's Congress will host a two-day motion of no confidence put forward by the far-right Vox party on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

All is set for MPs to decide whether Vox's candidate for Spanish prime minister, Ramón Tamames, should replace the current head of government, Socialist Pedro Sánchez

Yet, chances of a change are very slim: the 52 far-right MPs are the only ones expected to vote in favor of the motion, with the People's Party abstaining and an absolute majority of lawmakers – most of whom are left-wingers – set to vote it down

Ramón Tamames is not an MP for Vox, but an 89-year-old economist who spent decades as senior member of the Spanish Communist Party (PCE).  

Indeed, in the late 1970s and early 1980s he was a councilor in Madrid and an MP for the communists, before helping to create another party with a similar ideology, United Left (Izquierda Unida), and spending a short while in a moderate, centrist party, CDS, in 1989 before quitting politics. 

Born in 1933, Tamames will not be able to stand in the speakers' rostrum and will instead talk while sitting in the seat usually belonging to Vox's leader, Santiago Abascal, who is expected to provide some guidance during the debate. 

It is the second time the far right has put forward a motion of no confidence against Sánchez, and while the first time, in 2020, the conservative People's Party voted against it, this time they will abstain

Some parties, such as pro-independence Esquerra, considered boycotting the debate and not speaking, but in the end all groups will have their say – yet it is still unclear whether PM Pedro Sánchez will be the one responding to Tamames for the Socialists. 

It is the sixth motion of no confidence since democracy was established in Spain in the late 1970s, and only one has succeeded so far: Pedro Sánchez's attempt to oust conservative Mariano Rajoy as PM in 2018.