Slow pact progress ahead of debate on new government

2016-09-06 07:00:00

August 30th is the date set for Spanish MPs’ key debate on who should be prime minister.
By the next day, or September 2nd if there is a second round of voting, we should know who will form the next government. That, at least, is the theory. In practice, it still looks like it will be much less straightforward.
Mariano Rajoy, acting prime minister and leader of the Partido Popular (PP), the biggestparty with 137 MPs, needs to negotiate some ‘yes’ votes or abstentions from other parties’ MPs in order to become PM.
As the deadline approaches, it seems probable that there will be no positive outcome and this political saga will roll on at least until after regional elections in the Basque Country and Galicia on September 25th.
Senior PP figures have spent this week negotiating with Ciudadanos party (C’s) details of a legislative programme to be presented at the debate in order to secure the ‘yes’ of its 32 MPs to Rajoy’s investiture.
Despite willingness of C’s to support the PP, the devil, it seems, is in the detail. As the week progressed, C’s apparently got more frustrated with the PP on a number of points, especially social policy.
The PSOE party, which is seen as the best ‘last resort’ for Rajoy to get the final abstentions he needs, has maintained its firm ‘no’ and is unlikely to move position before the regional votes. Whatever happens on August 30th, it looks like Spain won’t get its new government for a whil. soruce surinenglish