Catalan Socialist Party heavyweights maintain their 'no’ to Rajoy’s investiture
The PSC, the Catalan branch of the Spanish Socialist Party have insisted on their ‘no’ to reinstating current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy. “We can’t betray our principles”, stated this Monday one of the candidates to lead PSC in the upcoming primary elections, Núria Parlon. In a clear move to differentiate themselves from the overall Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) position, which is to abstain in the upcoming investiture debate and allow the formation of a government in Spain, the PSC emphasised their “commitment to the citizens’ mandate” and their predisposition to offer “an alternative government to that of the Conservative People’s Party (PP)”. The Catalan Socialists expressed their position after the resignation of PSOE’s leader, Pedro Sánchez, who stepped down on Saturday after a week of turmoil within the Spanish Socialist Party.
Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) insisted on their refusal to facilitate current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy’s investiture. “We can’t betray our principles”, stated this Monday one of the candidates to lead PSC in the upcoming primary elections, Núria Parlon, who stated that allowing Rajoy to form government would have “irreversible consequences”for the Catalan Socialists. In a similar vein, PSC’s leader in the Parliament considered it “a mistake”for Spanish Socialistleader, Pedro Sánchez, to step down, which he did on Saturday after a week of turmoil within the PSOE. Sánchez, who had fought to retain leadership of the PSOE since a coup against him erupted last week, aimed to keep his position by holding a leadership contest in three weeks’time. His proposal was rejected by 132 votes to 107 at the end of an 11-hour session which showed a deeply divided party.
PSC’s candidate to lead the party in the upcoming primary elections and Mayor of Santa Coloma de Gramanet (one of the biggest cities in Catalonia), Núria Parlon warned that PSOE abstention in the vote to instate Rajoy as Spanish President would “legitimate a fraud”. According to Parlón, the PSOE “would blow up their 137 years of history” by facilitating a PP government in Spain. Thus, she insisted this Monday in an interview with Catalan radio RAC1 that PSC “will break the discipline of vote” in the Spanish Parliament “and say ‘no’ to Rajoy’s investiture”. “We want to be a party federated to PSOE, we want to help as much as we can to solve the Socialists’ crisis, but we will take this crisis as a opportunity to relaunch the PSC in Catalonia”, she added. However, she bid for revising the relationship between PSOE and PSC, so that the latter could “recoup autonomy and sovereignty”. In the last Catalan elections, which took place on the 27th of September 2015, the PSC lost almost half of its seats and got 11 MPs, one of its worst results ever.
The PSC’s leader in the Parliament, Miquel Iceta, considered the PSOE’s decision to reject Sánchez's proposal to hold a leadership contest and force him to step down “a mistake”. “Such an important question should have been put to vote amongst the members”, he stated after attending the executive committee’s meeting. “I think it was a mistake and it will have undesirable consequences for the party”, he added. According to Iceta, “the main reason behind the PSC’s support for Pedro Sánchez” was his intention “to form an alternative government to that of the PP”. An option which given the current situation “has been dismissed”.
In a similar vein, Barcelona’s deputy mayor and PSC member, Jaume Collboni, insisted that “PSC will keep their ‘no’ to Rajoy until the end”. Collboni emphasised that the party’s “commitment to the citizens’ mandate” means offering “an alternative government to that of the Conservative People’s Party (PP)” since they are “the main party in the opposition in the Spanish Parliament”.
PSOE crisis clears the way for Rajoy’s investiture
Some of the main representatives of PSC have clarified the party’s position after a week of turmoil within the PSOE. On Wednesday, half of the executive committee resigned in order to try to force out the Spanish Socialists’ leader Pedro Sánchez and on Saturday, after a long meeting of the party’s executive committee, Sánchez admitted defeat and stepped down. His proposal to hold a leadership contest in three weeks’ time was eventually rejected by 132 votes to 107 and soon after the party was put in the hands of a caretaker leadership until a new secretary-general is appointed.
The PSOE crisis showed that the party is divided over Rajoy’s investiture. The party’s former leader Felipe González accused him of “lying” since he failed to facilitate Rajoy’s investiture in the second debate. Susana Díaz, the leader of the PSOE in Andalucía and the candidate most frequently touted as Sánchez’s successor, also insisted that the needs of the country had to come before the needs of the party.
Sánchez had consistently argued that the party would not do anything to support or facilitate the return to government of the PP. “My parents taught me that the most important thing is keeping your word”, Sánchez said. “That was my word, which I gave to all the members and to the federal committee, too, when it came to the party’s position on Rajoy’s investiture process”, he added.