The leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, in his office on Genoa Street preparing his investiture speech, in an image provided by the PP.
Thirty-five days after receiving the King's commission, Alberto Núñez Feijóo arrives at his investiture debate with the same 172 supports with which he started. Not one more. Although he tried a frustrated approach to Junts per Catalunya, a party that the PP practically branded as a coup plotter, and that he insisted on knocking on the door of the PNV, which answered with successive slamming doors, the leader of the PP has not managed in four long weeks to tie any more support than those that earned him the commission of Felipe VI. At the end of this week, except for a major surprise, it will remain four seats short of an absolute majority, with the support of the 137 deputies of the PP, the 33 of Vox, a deputy of UPN and another of the Canary Coalition. Feijóo will try to argue that parliamentary defeat as a personal "renunciation" of not being president because he did not want to accept the conditions of the Catalan separatists. The plea against the amnesty will mark his speech in the debate, devised by the PP to strengthen its leadership in the opposition, without it being clear, however, for how long it will hold it.
All the barons of the PP will wrap Feijóo on Tuesday during his investiture speech in Congress, in an image designed to reinforce the Galician politician, who faces one of the most important debates of his political career. Genoa has played a rebuttal and will attend 11 presidents of autonomous communities governed by the PP, including the autonomous city of Ceuta, and five regional presidents of the party. All except the presidents of Cantabria and the Balearic Islands, María José Sáenz de Buruaga and Marga Prohens, respectively, and the president of the autonomous city of Melilla, Juan José Imbroda, who have to appear in the control session to the Government in their respective autonomous parliaments. The leadership has summoned them all after a joint meal in gratitude for the support they are giving to Feijóo, since his attendance at the massive rally on Sunday in Madrid to warm up the investiture – with 40,000 attendees, according to the Government Delegation – which has been a shot of self-esteem for a party touched after its insufficient victory to govern.
Not only for the party, but especially for Feijóo himself. "Sunday's event was important personally for him. It is not easy to manage the result of the general elections, "says a baron who was present in the Plaza de Felipe II, and who believes that the investiture of the PP leader "is the first act of the electoral campaign." This is because a large part of the PP believes that, once Feijóo fails – something that the party takes for granted – Pedro Sánchez will manage to govern, but the legislature will be short due to the instability that will cause the support of Junts, and therefore they must prepare to go to the polls soon.
The failed investiture serves, therefore, in the opinion of the PP, as a springboard for Feijóo to exercise opposition leadership, although it is not clear for how long he will want to hold that position. In an interview this Sunday in the newspaper Abc, the leader of the PP left the door open to leave before the end of the legislature: "If I come to the conviction, at some point, within four years, within three, whatever, that I am not useful enough to my party, it would be consistent with my own thinking, "I am consistent with my own thinking, " Reflects. "In the same way that after thinking, I said, if I do not beat Sánchez, I leave, if at some point, during this legislature, or in whatever year, I reach that intimate and personal conviction, I would be coherent and I would tell my colleagues."
The investiture debate will be decisive for the leadership of Feijóo, although no one in the PP foresees a crisis in the short term and the leader is complying with the script that they ask him from the hard wing of the right, which allows him to chase away internal problems. The Galician politician has raised the piston against the possible amnesty law for the leaders of the procés, which in the act of Sunday described as "cacicada" and "indignity", and will follow the same path in his speech in Parliament, which will include a plea against the measure of grace.
To such an extent that he will try to sell his parliamentary defeat as a personal resignation, precisely because he did not accept the request for an amnesty. "Tomorrow Feijóo will be the first candidate for the investiture who, being able to obtain the votes to be president, renounces to get them," defended on Monday the general secretary, Cuca Gamarra, although the PP knows that the numbers would not come out in case of having accepted the conditions of the Catalan separatists, because in that hypothesis the support of Vox would fall. As summarized sources of the PNV: "Feijóo does not lack four votes, he has 33 left [those of Vox]".
The leader of the PP will try to combine that tone of maximum hardness against the amnesty to satisfy the most right-wing with another more proactive content in his speech, looking for a profile "of statesman", advance in the PP. Feijóo will present a government program based on his electoral promises but open to agree on some key issues in the six state pacts that he offered to Sánchez at their meeting in August, and that it will bid again.
During the debate, which will be multilingual, the Galician politician "will appeal to the consciences of the leaders of the different political sensitivities" to reconsider their refusal to support him, said Monday his number two, Cuca Gamarra, although he maintained that in no case was it an appeal to transfuguismo. Asked if the PP would feel comfortable in a government that went ahead with the support of fugitives, something that the PSOE accuses the PP for its calls to the Socialists to reconsider their vote, Gamarra replied that "the PP is not in that area nor does it move there" and that "who best exercises ideological transfuguismo is Pedro Sánchez." However, the specter of tranfuguismo, like that of the eventual amnesty, will hover over an investiture that was born 35 days ago doomed to failure.
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