Rajoy promises dialogue and policy deals in exchange for a stable Spanish government
The Socialist party (PSOE) voted, albeit not unanimously, on Sunday to abstain in the second round of the MPs' vote in parliament, allowing the PP leader, Mariano Rajoy, to be sworn in as Spain's prime minister.
The decision was made at a federal committee meeting with 139 votes in favour of allowing Rajoy to form a new government and break the current political deadlock, and 96 votes against.
With the clock ticking towards the deadline before a third general election would have to be called, the process towards a new investiture debate sprang into action as soon as the decision was announced. King Felipe once again invited Rajoy to stand for election in parliament, two months after his previous failed attempt, and the investiture debate began on Wednesday.
Thursday's session includes the first round of voting, when Rajoy’s bid to run the country for the next four years is expected to be rejected, for lack of an overall majority.
Following the constitutional rulebook, the House will reconvene after 48 hours, on Saturday, when the MPs will be asked the same question. This time the PSOE members have been told by their party to abstain giving Rajoy more votes for than against and ending the period of nearly a year with an acting government.
In his speech on Wednesday Rajoy, who will be ruling without the overall majority he enjoyed until last December’s election, offered dialogue and pacts in exchange for a “stable, lasting, solid and reassuring” government.
He recognised that this time he will have to earn his government “every day” and promised to “negotiate all decisions” and endeavour to “interpret what the people of Spain have said [in the election result]”.
Meanwhile the Spanish Socialists face a long road ahead to heal the rift in their party. Still being run by a caretaker commission, the party now has to find a new leader with a large number of members still showing their support for former secretary general Pedro Sánchez’s position against allowing Rajoy to return as prime minister.
The Catalan and Basque Socialists are among those who called for the party’s 84 MPs to be allowed to vote in accordance with their views, since only eleven abstentions are required to let Rajoy through. The answer was negative and rebellious MPs who fail to toe the party line on Saturday will face disciplinary action. All eyes will be on Pedro Sánchez, whose insistence on ‘no’ to Rajoy lost him his job.source surinenglish