Rajoy to be invested as Spanish President on Saturday
Current Spanish President and Conservative People’s Party (PP) leader, Mariano Rajoy, will be reinvested as President of the Spanish Government next Saturday. Although the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) has announced that it is going to vote ‘no’ in the first round of the debate on investiture, this Wednesday afternoon, the party explained on the 23rd of October, after its federal committee, that it will abstain and facilitate the PP to form government in the second round. Currently the PSOE has faced tensions with the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which on Tuesday approved a resolution to say ‘no’ to Rajoy’s investiture in the second vote. Despite the Catalan Socialists’ opposition and the opposition of some other independent MPs and the former PSOE leader, Pedro Sánchez, Mariano Rajoy is likely to be sworn in on Saturday, putting an end to 10 months of political blockade in Spain.
Barcelona (CNA).- Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy will be elected President of the Spanish Government by the Spanish Parliament on Saturday the 29th of October during the second round of the debate on investiture. Although the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) has announced that it is going to vote ‘no’ in the first round, this Wednesday afternoon, the party explained on the 23rd of October, after its federal committee, that it will abstain and facilitate current governing PP to form government in the second round. The PP leader will start his second mandate with 170 votes in favour, those of his party, the Spanish Unionist Ciutadans and the Canary Coalition (CC), and the abstention of the PSOE. In such a manner, the vote will put an end to ten months of institutional and political blockade in Spain.
Although the Spanish Socialist Party will vote ‘no’ to block Rajoy’s investiture this Wednesday, there is some disagreement on the direction of the vote next Saturday, during the second round. While the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) agreed in its federal committee on the 23rd of October to abstain and facilitate current governing PP to form government, the Catalan Socialists will disobey and vote ‘no’.
Indeed, the National Council of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which took place last Tuesday, approved a resolution that reaffirms their 'no' to the investiture of current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy. The resolution, passed with 241 votes in favour and only one abstention, justifies the necessity of voting against the investiture of Rajoy, stating that Rajoy is largely "responsible" for the lack of dialogue between the governments of Catalonia and Spain, a situation that has led to a "serious impasse".
The resolution adopted has three points, the first of which establishes the rejection of the investiture. In it, the party stresses that it does not share the economic and social policies of the Government, its lack of will and sufficient capacities to fight corruption and its lack of dialogue with the Catalan Executive. The second point requests the PSC members to vote ‘no’ to the investiture and argues that they “respect the provision of the Constitution on the lack of an imperative mandate". Last, but not least, the third point reclaims the will to keep the relationship between the PSC and the PSOE and states that the future “depends mainly on the capacity to accept differences and manage disagreements”.
The PSC is “strong, cohesive and has acted consistently
The Secretary of Organisation of the PSC, Assumpta Escarp, appeared in front of the media after the vote, and stressed that the conclusion of this PSC National Council is that the party is "strong, cohesive and has acted consistently" both in its positioning regarding the investiture debate and with the ideals defended during the general elections. The politician also explained that "in any case, no one wants to quit the federal project of modernisation of Spain”, which the party “would like to do hand in hand with the Spanish Socialists".
Escarp acknowledged that members of the National Council are "worried" by the situation and are aware that this contrary voting can lead to "divergences" in the relationship between the two parties, but said that there is also widespread "hope that through dialogue" both parties can continue to work together. Furthermore, the politician assured that none of the interventions during the meeting referred directly to statements in recent days by several members of the PSOE asking the PSC to comply with the decision of the federal committee and warning of the consequences that voting differently could have.
PSOE spokesman stresses that voting discipline must be maintained
The spokesman of PSOE in the Spanish Parliament, Antonio Hernando, has sent a letter by email to the 84 representatives of the party warning that voting discipline must be maintained. In the text, Antonio Hernando recalls that the resolution set by the federal committee on the 23rd of October has maximum sovereignty and that the parliamentary group cannot take a different decision.
The letter came shortly before the Socialist deputies held a group meeting in Parliament - where they reiterated the order to abstain in the second round - that was attended by the fifteen members of the group (including the seven from the PSC) who have expressed their intention to vote 'no' to Rajoy’s investiture. The vote of the former PSOE leader, Pedro Sánchez, remains unknown, although sources close to the politician assure that he is considering not attending the vote or voting against the investiture.
The directorate of the PSOE insists in the letter that it will work "with all its might" in order so that the abstention of the Socialist group is "unanimous", but does not mention yet what will be the consequences for those who violate voting discipline.