Spain’s PM has a governing deal; now he needs to sell it to Congress
The caretaker prime minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez of the Socialist Party (PSOE), is racing to secure his return to office after winning the repeat general election on Sunday but failing to secure a parliamentary majority.
After announcing a surprise deal with the anti-austerity Unidas Podemos for a coalition government just 48 hours after Spaniards went to the polls – earlier failure to reach such an agreement had led to the repeat vote – Sánchez is now trying to convince a Catalan separatist party to help him at the investiture vote, which could be held in the coming weeks.
Sánchez, who now has 120 seats in Congress, three down from the April 28 election, is trying to get the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) to abstain at this parliamentary vote to endorse the new administration. Sánchez’s bid to form a government after April failed to attract enough congressional backing, and Spain has been run by a caretaker government since then.
The ERC, whose leader Oriol Junqueras was recently sentenced to 13 years in prison for sedition and misuse of public funds in connection with the 2017 secession attempt, is demanding a change in the Socialist leader’s rhetoric about Catalonia, and the creation of a committee outside of parliament in exchange for its support.