Spain will Return to the Polls for the Fourth Time in Four Years

General News
Outgoing Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (G) and Vice President Carmen Calvo at a plenary session in Parliament in Madrid on September 11, 2019.

The head of the Socialist government Pedro Sanchez failed to obtain the necessary support for his reappointment to power in Spain.

Spain will return to the polls on Sunday 10th November 2019 for the fourth time in four years, the head of the socialist government Pedro Sanchez failed to obtain the necessary support for his reappointment to power.

“The country is doomed to (organize) new elections on November 10th,” admitted Sanchez Tuesday after being received by the Spanish King Felipe VI who led Monday since last-chance talks.

“They made it impossible for me”

“The result (of the king’s consultations) is clear: there is no majority in the Chamber of Deputies that can guarantee the formation of a government,” added the Socialist who won the last election of April 28th but without obtaining an absolute majority.

“I tried by all means but they made it impossible for me,” he said again, referring to his opponents who accused him of wanting new elections from the start.

The royal palace had indicated a little earlier that the sovereign would not propose a candidate for the post of head of government, no “not counting the necessary support for the Chamber of Deputies gives him his confidence.”

Spain suffers from political instability since bipartisanship shattered in 2015 with the entry into force of the radical left of Podemos and the liberals of Ciudadanos in Parliament. Parliament is even more fragmented since the emergence of the extreme right of Vox in the last election.

In a delicate context for Spain against a backdrop of economic slowdown and a few weeks of the ultra-sensitive judicial sentence against twelve Catalan independentists, this new stalemate will lead to the automatic dissolution of parliament on September 23rd and the convening of the fourth ballot in four years.

In July, Sanchez failed to win the confidence of the deputies, failing to agree with the radical left of Podemos on a coalition government.

Discussions with Podemos had since resumed but without breaking the deadlock. The radical left always demanded to return to the government while the Socialists proposed a simple common program.

Liberal surprise offer

The liberal Ciudadanos party made a surprise last-minute offer but it seemed doomed to failure.

Albert Rivera, the head of Ciudadanos, had proposed the conditional forbearance of his training and that of the Conservatives of the Popular Party, to facilitate the investiture of Mr Sanchez, whose foot calls he had not yet known.

But he demanded in return that Mr Sanchez undertakes not to pardon the Catalan separatists if they are condemned by the Supreme Court shortly for their role in the secession attempt of 2017.

And he also demanded that the Socialists defeat the regional government they formed in Navarre (north) and join the right so that their majority does not depend on the Basque separatist party Bildu.

In any case, the PP, whose voices were essential for this offer to prosper, rejected this proposal.

Socialists lead in polls

Net winner of the legislative elections of April 28th and European May, the Socialist Party of Mr Sanchez remains favourite in the polls and could win seats in the Chamber of Deputies where he has 123 of 350.

But according to the latest opinion polls, he does not seem to be able to obtain an absolute majority on his own, which would leave the problem of the formation of a future government intact.

“The new parliament could look like the current one … the formation of the government would be far from easy” and “it is, therefore, unlikely that the country has a new government in office by the end of the year Says Antonio Barroso, an analyst at Teneo.

Faced with this risk, Mr Sanchez asked the Spaniards to pronounce for him “even more clearly” so that Spain “take once and for all the path of stability”.

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