Spain, Feijoo does not obtain the confidence of Parliament to form a new government

The Spanish Congress definitively denied confidence to the leader of the Popular Party Alberto Nunez Feijòo with 173 yes and 177 no. This is the second vote after that of 26 September in which Feijòo obtained 172 in favor and 178 against. Now the word passes to the king who will most likely entrust the socialist leader Pedro Sanchez with a new task to form a government next week.

The vote

The lack of confidence seemed obvious even before the vote, even if a relative majority was enough for the former governor of Galicia. The leader of the PP, who won the elections last July 23 but did not have a majority in Parliament, still wanted to present himself for the investiture in the chamber. Closing his speech in the Chamber, Feijoo launched a harsh direct attack on Sánchez: “There is no success in deception and lies. Whether his will is to continue with this moral and political degradation will be his responsibility or irresponsibility. I don’t want to be president at any cost. Now it’s time to know if you want to be president of the government at the cost of the dignity and equality of Spaniards.” The latter is a clear reference to the possible amnesty towards Catalan separatists that Sanchez could grant to obtain their vote of confidence.

Position assigned in August 2023

Feijoo had obtained the task of forming the new Government from King Felipe VI on 22 August 2023 at the end of the consultations following the elections of the previous month, despite his coalition made up of PP, Vox and other minor parties lacking 4 seats to obtain a majority absolute in the Congress of Deputies. In these months after the elections, the only certain allies were the three parties that voted yes to confidence: Vox, Coalición Canaria and Union del Pueblo Navarro. With the far right of Vox, the PP is already governing in several municipalities and some Spanish regions after the May administrative elections. During the last weeks of negotiations some potential allies, such as the Basque Nationalist Party, refused to join the coalition precisely because of Vox’s presence.

What happens now

At this point the word passes to the king who, after having consulted the representatives of the political groups, will probably already next week entrust a new mandate to a new prime minister candidate, the leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, Pedro Sanchez. If he too, as required by the Constitution, fails to make it by November 27th, i.e. two months after the first failed vote for Feijòo, the king will dissolve the chambers and Spain will return to the polls on January 14th.