• Option puts Podemos in difficult position, neutralising opposition to PSOE •
Now faced with a virtually nil chance of negotiating a majority coalition government in Spain’s Congress of Deputies, the Socialist party (PSOE) is reportedly considering a ‘Plan B’ that would see it able to form a new government with the votes of the centre-right Ciudadanos party and abstention by the anti-austerity Podemos party and its regional allies, as well as pro-independence parties in Catalonia.
Following Dec. 20th general elections, neither of the country’s two largest parties obtained the necessary 176 seats to form an absolute majority in Congress, with the the 123 votes of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) and the 90 votes of the PSOE forcing the parties to seek coalition partners to form the next government.
A report in Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico over the weekend says that after discarding a number of options, including rejection of the PP’s offer to form an alliance between the two largest parties, the PSOE is now looking at a potentially viable option.
The new scenario being considered by the Socialists would align the party’s 90 votes with the 40 votes of Podemos in a second round of voting where only a simple majority is needed, forcing Podemos to make the difficult choice of either abstaining or risk alienating its party bases by aligning itself with the conservative PP in a vote to block the formation of a minority PSOE-Ciudadanos government.