Sánchez to call on parties to drop objections, support candidacy to avoid new general elections

Pedro Sánchez (center) speaks with César Luena (right) at PSOE meeting Monday. Photo: Emilia Gutiérrez / La Vanguardia
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• PSOE leader’s speech today kicks off investiture debate, voting in Congress •

In a speech this afternoon opening debate on his possible investiture as Spain’s next president, Socialist party leader Pedro Sánchez’s call for all other political parties to put aside objections to the pact signed between his PSOE party and centre-right Ciudadanos and to support his candidacy is almost certainly destined to fall on deaf ears.

Lacking sufficient votes to ensure his selection by Congress, Sánchez’s speech is set to begin at 4:30 pm and covered by a virtual mob of 800 accredited journalists from around the world.. It will kick off a series of debate responses Wednesday from other party leaders, a likely defeat in first-round voting Wednesday evening, then more debate and a second-round of balloting late Friday evening to decide if he will lead a new government.

The PSOE leader’s inability so far to win a promise of abstention in the voting from either the new-left anti-austerity party Podemos or the conservative Partido Popular (PP) means a 60-day period of uncertainty and political bargaining is likely to follow, with the looming prospect of Spaniards having to return to the polls in June for another general election before the country can have a new government in place.

► Read More in Spanish at El País and la Vanguardia…

► Read More in English at El País …

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