Pedro Sánchez knocked back on investiture vote, Podemos leader’s attack draws demand for apology

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias speaking during first Pedro Sánchez investiture debate. Photo: El Periódico
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• Iglesias accusation against Felipe González draws ire of Socialist Deputies •

As expected, Socialist party leader Pedro Sánchez failed to garner near enough votes in Congress on Wednesday to ensure his first-ballot investiture as Spain’s next President, but not before an incendiary intervention by Pablo Iglesias of the anti-austerity party Podemos seemed to all but scuttle any hope of his PSOE party and Podemos joining together in a progressive coalition pact.

Iglesias made clear in his debut remarks that he would direct himself “above all” to the television viewers of the investiture debate, then referred to Sánchez as “miserable,” told him Spanish workers would reclaim the letters “S” (for “Socialista”) and “O” (for “Obrero”, or Worker) from the PSOE party initials and in incendiary rebuttal remarks, proceeded to link former Socialist leader and ex-President Felipe González to murders of members of the Basque terrorist group ETA three decades ago.

The accusations against the Socialists’ revered party leader González drew jeers and shouting at Iglesias and may have caused irreparable damage to the PSOE-Podemos progressive coalition courtship, with Socialist party leaders subsequently calling for an apology from Iglesias and saying that the likelihood of a power-sharing government between the two parties is now virtually nil.

► Read More in Spanish at 20minutos and El Periódico …

► Read More in English at The Guardian and Spanish News Today …

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