MPs' rejection of Rajoy's investiture prolongs Spain's state of limbo

2016-09-11 08:00:00

While everybody expected Mariano Rajoy, acting PM, to lose last week’s MPs’ vote on who should be new PM, what happens next in Spain’s national political saga is anybody’s guess.
Immediately after Rajoy’s PP party fell a few votes short of the number needed to be able to form the new government, Ciudadanos (C’s) Party, their investiture partners, withdrew its MPs support for Rajoy. “If there is no investiture, there’s no pact,” said C’s’ Albert Rivera.
Spain’s King Felipe, calling for “dialogue, agreement and compromise” after the vote, asked all parties to negotiate between themselves before he summons leaders again to try to unblock the stalemate.
Political leaders have therefore restarted the process of trying to pact so that one leader can secure either the majority of MPs votes or at least more ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ in order to appoint a government. In the meantime, Rajoy’s PPcontinues to run the acting-government but time is short as parliament needs to vote soon on next year’s budgets.
The PSOE’s Pedro Sánchez, as leader of the second largest party, is still seen as key to finding a way forward.
While no new plan is emerging, one idea muted is that Mariano Rajoy should be replaced as PPleader to get the PSOE Party to at least abstain in any new MPs vote. The PPquickly made it clear that Rajoy is going nowhere.
Anti-austerity Podemos continues to call for a grand coalition of “change” with the Socialist PSOE, in which C’s apparently showed interest. However Podemos’ willingness to engage with the pro-independence Catalonian and Basque parties is seen as a red line for both Socialists and C’s.
Regional elections in Galicia and the Basque Country on September 25th mean that no agreement between parties is likely before then.
MPs have until the end of October to choose a new PM or face further general elections (which would technically fall on Christmas Day).
One thing that they have found it easy to agree on is that, if that unwelcome poll is called, they will modify electoral law so that voters will vote a week before December 25th.source surinenglish