• PSC’s Iceta and Parlon insist on PSOE referendum over Rajoy abstention
• Interim PSOE administrator says deputies will not be free to vote conscience
The Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSC), the regional affiliate in Catalonia of Spain’s national Socialist party (PSOE), is carrying the “No is No” torch of ousted PSOE leader Pedro Pedro Sánchez, insisting that if the party now chooses a PSOE abstention in Congressional voting to allow acting-Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) to form a new government, then a referendum of the national PSOE membership should be held to ratify or reject the decision.
As two candidates vie in a close internal PSC election process to choose the regional party’s new leader, both candidates for the post — current PSC general secretary Miguel Iceta and the PSC mayor of Gramanet, Núria Parlon — have said that if the interim committee governing the PSOE decides the party should abstain to allow Rajoy a second term as prime minister, at a minimum the decision should go to a national referendum of the PSOE membership. Whatever the outcome, says Parlon, the PSOE should go a step further and allow Catalan Socialists and deputies from other regions to vote their conscience and cast a “No” vote in any Congressional vote to put Rajoy and the PP back in power.
Following the 132-107 vote defeat in the PSOE’s Federal Committee meeting Saturday that wrested power from Sánchez, the PSOE’s interim administrator, Asturian President Javier Fernández, has said he will seek party unity in the decision as to how the PSOE should vote on the Rajoy bid to form the next government. As for the Catalan Socialists being freed to vote their conscience, Fernández said on Monday they should “not even think about it” and that the PSOE deputies will vote one way or the other en bloc and in line with the national party’s decision.