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Spain’s lawmakers begin debate on whether to reconfirm Pedro Sanchez as PM


Spain’s lawmakers begin debate on whether to reconfirm Pedro Sanchez as PM

pedro sanchez spain
Photo: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Three months after inconclusive elections, Spain’s parliament will debate whether to confirm Pedro Sanchez as prime minister today.

Today’s debate comes ahead of a vote tomorrow, when Mr Sanchez will need an absolute majority—176 votes—to be confirmed as PM. As his centre-left Socialist party and leftist ally Podemos—which only this week agreed to be a junior coalition partner—can only muster 158 votes between them, Mr Sanchez will likely fall short.

Voting would then proceed to a second-round to be held within 48 hours. In that vote, Mr Sanchez would only need a simple majority—more lawmakers backing than opposing him. Catalonia’s left-of-centre Esquerra party, which holds 15 seats, has suggested that it will abstain from that vote if a coalition with Podemos, whose leader supports an independence referendum, could be forged. This suggests that by this point Mr Sanchez will have the numbers to be confirmed.

Nevertheless, Spanish politics has proven to be highly volatile over the past decade, so if the Catalans do not abstain, another election will need to be held, likely in November. With the Spanish public increasingly frustrated over the political deadlock, another election could see gains for anti-establishment parties—including the far-right Vox party.

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