Rajoy decides to accept C's' six-point plan in a step towards power

2016-08-21 08:00:00

Spain edged closer towards a new government on Thursday when Mariano Rajoy, leader of the Partido Popular (PP), accepted the six anti-corruption demands of Albert Rivera’s Ciudadanos (C’s) party.
Rivera had tabled his wish list last week. In return for PPsupport for his suggested measures, Rivera offered to have his MPs vote for Rajoy in an investiture debate in the Congreso.
Rajoy is leader of the biggest party in the parliament but needs other parties’ votes to secure majority support to become prime minister.
In their list, C’s called for, among other measures, steps against politicians being investigated for corruption, an end to special legal protection for some politicians and changes to the voting system.
Rajoy met with his PP executive committee on Wednesday to decide whether to support C’s measures.
Talk among Spain’s political commentators turned swiftly to further general elections, the third in a year, if the current deadlock could not be broken.
However, Thursday’s announcement by Rivera and Rajoy that they would go ahead with their anti-corruption pact lightened the mood. Rivera, however, will still not form part of any future PP government.
Rajoy also promised to finally ask the president (speaker) of the Congreso, Ana Pastor, to set a date for an MPs’ debate and vote on a new government. The date was formally set later on Thursday for 30 August, with a first vote on PM expected on 31 August.
Despite the C’s deal, the PP leader still won’t have enough votes to be sworn in as PM. Socialist PSOEsupport, or at least a partial abstention, would still be needed for a Rajoy majority.
With Pedro Sánchez of the PSOEstill promising to vote ‘no’ to Rajoy, it was clear some more negotiation remained to be done.
If Rajoy doesn’t win a first vote with an outright majority, there will be a second vote two days later, where a tally of more ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ would suffice.
If he cannot achieve this, the king may look to ask another leader to try to form a government or the third general election in a year could be held around Christmas.source surinenglish