• PSOE falts Podemos motion for lack of clear program for alternative gov’t
• Unidos Podemos, allies headed for certain defeat on Rajoy no-confidence vote
Spain’s Socialist party (PSOE) under newly re-elected secretary-general Pedro Pedro Sánchez has definitely decided it will abstain on Tuesday and not join with its left-wing rival Unidos Podemos (United We Can) in a vote of censure and no confidence against President Mariano Rajoy of the governing conservative Partido Popular (PP), according to a report Thursday in the Spanish national daily El País. This, despite the PSOE’s sharing with Unidos Podemos many of the same criticisms of Rajoy’s six-year tenure in office, including the many ongoing cases of corruption that continue to dog the governing party.
At 9 o’clock Tuesday morning, the Unidos Podemos spokesperson in Congress, Irene Montero, will introduce the censure motion that has the backing of the three-year-old anti-austerity party Podemos (We Can), its regional allies from Galicia En Marea (The Tide), Valencia’s Coalició Compromís (Commitment Coalition) and Catalonia’s En Comú Podem (In Common We Can), as well as the Catalan pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC, Republican Left of Catalonia) and EH Bildu from the Basque Country. The motion will propose Unidos Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias as the next President, were the motion to succeed and Rajoy be forced from office.
Still, all that support only accounts for 82 votes versus 172 votes against the motion from the PP along with centre-right party Ciudadanos and regional political allies of the governing party, leaving the Unidos Podemos vote of no confidence against Rajoy destined to fail as a result of the PSOE’s decision to abstain. According to José Luis Ábalos, the Socialists’ new congressional spokesman appointed by Sánchez following his May 21 re-election to the party’s top leadership position, the PSOE does not support the Unidos Podemos motion because it is not accompanied by a clear program for an alternative government nor an alternative candidate for President acceptable to a majority of parties represented in Congress.
The Socialists have not yet formally aired their decision to abstain on the motion because Sánchez is yet to take over the reigns of the PSOE at the upcoming 39th party conference on 17th June, four days after the Unidos Podemos censure motion will be voted on. According to party sources, the Sánchez teams is currently considering whether or not to hold a press conference prior to Tuesday’s vote to formally announce its decision to abstain on the vote.