Status: 27/09/2023, 13:58 p.m.
Alberto Nunez Feijoo wants to become prime minister. © Eduardo Parra/EUROPA PRESS/dpa
The conservative opposition leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo has run for the office of prime minister - but without success. Where do we go from here?
Madrid - The political uncertainty in Spain continues just over two months after the early parliamentary elections. As expected, conservative opposition leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo failed today with a first attempt to form a new government.
The candidacy of the 62-year-old for the office of prime minister and the successor to the socialist Pedro Sánchez, who has been ruling only caretakingly since the end of July, was rejected by the lower house in Madrid, as expected, with 178 to 172 votes.
Countdown to new elections heralded
The bankruptcy has consequences: With the first rejected application, the countdown to new elections was heralded according to the constitution. The pressure is mounting. If no head of government is found within two months, i.e. by 27 November, the Spaniards would have to go to the polls again on 14 January.
It is not only a domestic political blockade that threatens. This would also overshadow Spain's entire EU presidency until December 31 by political uncertainty in the eurozone's fourth-largest economy.
Criticism of Feijóo
During the debates, the Socialists and representatives of other parties accused Feijóo of having "robbed Spain of valuable time" with his candidacy, which was considered hopeless, in a difficult time with inflation as well as war and migration crisis in Europe.
Feijóo has a new chance on Friday. Unlike Wednesday's vote, in which he would have needed an absolute majority of at least 176 votes, a simple majority is enough for the leader of the conservative People's Party (PP). But even that is not in sight for the candidate.
The state TV station RTVE had spoken of an "impossible candidacy". After Feijóo, Sánchez, who has been in power since 2018, is also expected to make an attempt in October or November.
Russian soldiers celebrate takeover of Ukrainian kamikaze drone – but the joy doesn't last long
"True hell is brewing": Ukraine's secret drone destroys Russia's tank fleet
Putin's new miracle weapon: Russia is now going into the Ukraine war with combat tractors
Satellite images show: Russia is building a new type of army building on the NATO border
Russia shows admiral declared dead again on television – but doubts remain
Fancy a voyage of discovery?
How did the current situation come about?
In the July 23 election, the PP won the most votes and the most seats in the Congreso de los Diputados ahead of Sánchez's Socialists (PSOE). However, since neither party initially received sufficient support from other groups to form a majority capable of governing, King Felipe VI had decided that the winner of the election would be the first to apply.
Feijóo's failure was mainly attributed to the fact that he was supported by the 33 deputies of the right-wing populist party Vox. Without them, he wouldn't have had a chance anyway, as his PP has only 137 seats. Only two small conservative regional parties voted for Feijóo with one vote each, despite the "common cause" with Vox.
A "grand coalition" between the PP and PSOE is considered out of the question in Spain, as the two traditional parties are ideologically much further apart than, for example, their German sister parties, the CDU and SPD. That's why Spain is now saying: a new edition of Sánchez or a months-long blockade.
The socialist is given better chances than the conservative rival. In addition to the votes of the left-wing alliance Sumar and smaller regional parties, Sánchez also needs agreements with the left-wing ERC of Catalan Prime Minister Pere Aragonès and with the party Junts of the separatist leader Carles Puigdemont, who lives in exile in Belgium and Spanish fugitive from justice.
Both the ERC and Junts are striving for Catalonia's independence. For their support of a left-wing government, they demand, among other things, an amnesty for those "Catalanistas" who took part in the failed secession attempt of 2017. Dpa