Spain’s Socialist Workers’ Party to grant Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy 2nd term

October 23, 2016 5:44 pm

President of the Management Committee of ’s Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) Javier Fernandez (5th L), Management Committee member, Ascension Godoy (4th L), Andalusian PSOE spokesman Mario Jimenez (5th R) and Committee members wait before an extraordinary meeting of the PSOE Federal Committee, on October 23, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Spain’s Socialist Workers’ Party, also known as the PSOE, has cleared the way for acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative People’s Party (PP) to form a minority government, aiming to end a 10-month political deadlock in the country.
The PP won most votes in the parliamentary election of December 2015 but it fell short of securing enough seats to rule alone and it also failed to form a coalition government with other leftist and centrist parties, prompting a second general election.
In the polls of July, the PP won most ballots but the parliament again failed to pick a prime minister since no single party managed to win a clear parliamentary majority. For the past 10 months Spain has had a caretaker government due to the inconclusive elections.
Since December 2015, the PSOE not only has refrained from forming a coalition with the desperate conservatives but it has also used a veto against the PP to prevent it from building a minority government, a move which sent Spain into a political limbo.
On Sunday, however, the deeply-divided Socialists opted to stand aside and voted to lift their long-standing veto against the conservatives, paving the way for them to form their minority government.
The policy-setting federal committee of the PSOE voted 139 to 96 in an emergency meeting to abstain in a parliamentary confidence vote due to be held next week that would grant Rajoy a second term.

Spain’s acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (Photo by AFP)

On October 1, Pedro Sánchez, the then leader of the Socialists, resigned after losing a party vote. He had been heading a long-running standoff with Rajoy’s party and was particularly blamed for the 10-month impasse that paralyzed institutions and threatened to derail Spain’s economic recovery.
Many members of the PSOE had urged an end to blocking Rajoy’s bid for a second term by abstaining in the necessary vote of confidence.
If the political deadlock had continued until an October 31 deadline, Spain would have faced an unprecedented third election.
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