MADRID – Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is ready to remain Prime Minister for Sunday. incomplete international elections in which the center-right Popular Party won the majority of the vote but lacked a clear path to form a government.
As expected, there are no major Spanish parties he found many rulers. With 99 percent of the votes counted, the Popular Party had 136 seats, the Socialists 122, the right-wing Vox 33, and the left-wing Sumar 31.
Before the vote, conservative leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo indicated that he would be willing to form a coalition government with Vox, but both parties fell short of the 176 seats needed to control the Spanish parliament.
There are no circumstances in which Spanish parliamentarians will support a minority government formed by the Popular Party and Vox, and Feijóo does not seem to have enough support among the country’s smaller regional parties to garner the support he would need to govern on his own.
The result opens the door for Sánchez to remain in office.
Together with the left-wing coalition of Yolanda Díaz in Sumar, the Prime Minister’s Socialist Party can form a coalition that controls 153 seats in the parliament, but in order to control it will need to form a coalition with different political groups with different goals.
Sánchez is unlikely to get the support of the 176 MPs needed to be confirmed as prime minister the first time the new parliament debates the issue, but he could make a decision in the second round of voting, where the candidate for the new government must receive more votes than nays.
In 2019, Sánchez became Prime Minister following the same process after making a deal with regional parties. But in the general elections, voters chose to back the main parties, which caused smaller groups like Teruel Existe to lose their seats.
This means that the Socialists will look for support from the Basque and Catalan nationalists – among them the former Catalan President. Carlos Puigdemont‘s together party
Puigdemont fled Spain after 2017 Catalan independence referendum and later elected to the European Parliament; The EU’s top court recently stripped him of his legal protection, paving the way for him to be extradited to Spain.
The head of the Junts, Míriam Nogueras, told reporters that her party “understands the results” and will “take advantage of this opportunity.”
“This is a possibility to change, to restore unity,” he said. “But we will not make Pedro Sánchez president for nothing.”
More than 37 million Spaniards were registered to vote in this election, which was designed as a referendum on Sánchez. The tight race meant the stakes were high, with Spain facing the possibility of having a government with right-wing ministers for the first time since the death of Francisco Franco.
That would mark a major sea change in Europe in next year’s European Parliament elections and fuel right-wing forces that want the EU to be tougher on everything from climate change to migration.
With 33 seats, the far-right party Vox is still the third largest party in the Spanish parliament, but these elections have seen it fall short of the 52 seats it won in 2019, indicating that the party could lose.
At the Socialist Party headquarters in Madrid on Sunday night, cheering supporters cheered Sánchez while chanting “¡No pasarán!,” an anti-fascist slogan used by Spain’s official government against Franco’s troops during the Spanish Civil War.
Although it was held in the middle of summer and in the middle of a hurricane, about 24 million Spaniards voted in person, while a record 2.4 million chose to vote by mail.