Sánchez’s deceptive strategy for victory after Spanish election results – POLITICO

MADRID – If you thought the political drama in Spain would end with Sunday’s election, think again.

The national vote it resulted in a divided parliament without a clear majority to rule. The centre-right Popular Party won the majority of the vote, but did not have enough seats to form a government on its own or with the far-right party Vox, their preferred coalition partner.

On Sunday night, the leader of self-control Alberto Núñez Feijóo he said he would try to form a small government and said “there should be no one who can be tried to stop Spain.”

Feijóo said that the country is always controlled by the leader who gets the most votes, and stressed that the future government should be “in harmony with victory.”

But in parliamentary democracies like Spain, the head of state is not the one who wins the most votes in the election, but the one who can secure the most votes. to support a large part of MPs – and currently Feijóo does not have the necessary support to make his election as Prime Minister possible.

Socialist leader and current Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, meanwhile, has a possible – albeit difficult – path to victory.

Sánchez’s Socialists and their preferred partner, the leftist Sumar coalition of Yolanda Díaz, control 153 seats in parliament. Although his leftist allies will not be able to get the support of the 176 MPs needed for Sánchez to be confirmed as prime minister the first time parliament votes on the issue, they can make a decision in the second round of the vote, in which the candidate for the new government must receive more yes than nays.

But Sánchez needs to move quickly to prove that he wants to stay in office.

Rest, then visit the king

After a grueling campaign marked by bad attacks, everyone needs a break. So it is good that the Spanish parliament will only have to reconvene on August 17, when the parliamentarians will be sworn in.

But once parliament resumes, Sánchez will have to resolve the first royal crisis.

In the days following the start of the new parliamentary session, King Felipe VI of Spain will invite the leaders of the political parties to a meeting at the Zarzuela Palace and ask them about who they think has the most support to form a government.

Feijóo insists on his case and says that, as the leader of the party that received the most votes, he should be elected prime minister.

Although currently the prime minister of Spain is always the politician who got the most votes in the election, Pablo Simón, a political scientist at the University of Carlos III in Madrid, said that the role of the king is to give the formation of a new government to any leader who can show that he has the support to overcome the necessary votes in the Spanish parliament.

“The king is smart and follows the rules in the law,” said Simón. “In other words, they will dictate the government from the privileged person.”

So Sánchez will have to make sure that when he arrives at the Zarzuela Palace, he will do so with a convincing list of supporters, especially with several other party leaders who have publicly expressed their willingness to call.

Epic horse-trading

If Sánchez wins and the king names him as Spain’s prime minister, the incumbent will have weeks to negotiate with potential supporters.

In 2019, Sánchez managed to form Spain’s first left-wing coalition government meeting with regional parties who supported his election to parliament in exchange for proposals such as new railways or hospitals.

But in the general elections, voters chose to back the main parties, and smaller ones like the Teruel Existe citizens group – which was the key to Sánchez’s victory in 2019 – lost their seats in the parliament.

Meanwhile, Sánchez will need Basque and Catalan separatist groups such as EH Bildu and the Republican Left of Catalonia to vote for him. He also has to convince the Junts – the party founded by the former Catalan president Carlos Puigdemont – don’t vote for him.

Although Sánchez’s left-wing coalition government has sought to improve relations and deal with Catalan separatists over the past four years, relations are not good.

Puigdemont, who fled Spain after 2017 Catalan independence referendum, still in self-imposed exile in Belgium. A politician, who is currently a member of the European Parliament, He was recently stripped of his legal protection by the EU’s highest court, paving the way for his extradition to Spain.

On Sunday, the representative of the Junts, Míriam Nogueras, told reporters that her party “understands the results” and will “use the opportunity.”

But he pointed out that negotiations with the Socialists would not be easy, and that a positive outcome was not guaranteed.

“This is a possibility to change, to restore unity,” he said. “But we will not make Pedro Sánchez president for nothing.”

What’s next for Sánchez and Feijóo?

If Sánchez is asked to form a government but fails to get the necessary support in parliament, Spain will go to new elections.

The king must dissolve the legislature two months after the first failed vote and a new vote must be held 54 days after the end of parliament – so Spaniards will go to the polls again at the end of this year or, possibly, at the beginning of 2024.

For a long time, Sánchez remained prime minister and low energy: No new rules can be followed unless there is an emergency.

But while Sánchez is on track to remain Spain’s prime minister for the foreseeable future, what will happen next for Popular Party leader Feijóo is unclear.

When Feijóo tried to address his followers on Sunday night, a the crowd drowned a politician who refrains from shouting the name of the president of the Madrid region, Isabel Diaz Ayuso.

Before the election, Ayuso, who is very popular among Popular Party voters, meaning His support for Feijóo’s leadership was linked to his victory in the election.

Although he got the most votes, whether Feijóo achieved his goal remains to be seen.

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