Spain's Socialists to make way for Rajoy government

Divisive vote result means Spain will see new government following 310 days of political deadlock

Spain's Socialists to make way for Rajoy government

World Bulletin / News Desk

Spain’s Socialists voted on Sunday to facilitate a minority government led by acting conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

The move by the opposition Socialists will almost certainly prevent the country from having to go through a new general election.

In the divisive ballot, 139 leading Socialist delegates were in favor of abstaining during an upcoming parliamentary vote on forming an administration.

This abstention will allow the Socialists’ traditional rival, the Popular Party (PP), to govern in the fragmented Spanish parliament. Ninety-six Socialists voted “no” to a right-wing government.

“No-one has the right to oblige the citizens to vote for a third time [within a year] just because the first two elections didn’t satisfy their expectations,” read the Socialist resolution in favor of abstention.

With this vote, the Socialists will end months of political stalemate but the party has also gone against much of its left-wing base. A recent poll for Spanish broadcaster La Sexta suggested 71 percent of Socialists preferred a third election to a Rajoy government.

“We shouldn’t buy ourselves a momentary breath of air at the cost of drowning in the future,” Patxi Lopez, a prominent Basque Socialist arguing for a “No” to an abstention, said during the debate according to La Sexta.

The PP told Spanish media earlier on Sunday it would wait until Monday before commenting on the Socialists’ decision.

On Monday, Spanish monarch Felipe VI will begin the fifth -- and most likely final -- round of talks with politicians since last December’s inconclusive elections.

He will then nominate a party to form a government, which -- after the results of today’s Socialist decision -- will likely be the PP.

Parliament will have to formally vote on the investiture of that government next week. Unless a significant number of Socialists disobey the decision to abstain, Spain will see a new government, led by Rajoy, after more than 310 days of political deadlock.

Last Mod: 23 Ekim 2016, 18:21
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