- PSOE won’t back Rajoy’s re-election, reinforcing deadlock
- Basque and Galician elections take two possible Rajoy heirs away from Madrid
- PP and PSOE, expected to leave the governing Catalan party (PDC, formerly CDC) without group in the Parliament
PSOE won’t back Rajoy’s re-election, reinforcing gridlock
PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez has announced that his party’s MPs won’t back Rajoy’s re-election. Sánchez has urged the incumbent PM to schedule a date for the confidence debate “as soon as possible”. The socialist leader said that Rajoy has not confirmed him that he will even run for re-election. Sanchez has demanded that Rajoy negotiates with the right wing to obtain a majority.
Mariano Rajoy stressed the urgency of forming a government. The incumbent PM said he believes a negotiation with PSOE is still possible, and has made himself available to further talks with Sánchez. Rajoy has stated that if PSOE votes ‘No’ to his government, there will be new elections. He has not made clear whether he will go to a confidence debate.
PSOE’s decision to vote against Rajoy reinforces the deadlock, as the People’s Party now would need to convince Basque nationalists PNV and Catalan pro-independence PDC to reach a majority. Both PNV and PDC have already announced their rejection of Rajoy’s re-election.
Basque and Galician elections take two possible Rajoy heirs away from Madrid
Health minister Alfonso Alonso will be PP’s candidate to the Basque elections, to be held on September 25. Mr. Alonso is leaving his position in Rajoy’s cabinet. He can’t be replaced with a new minister until a new government is appointed, so a colleague will have to take over his position. Alonso was one of the main candidates to replace Rajoy as PP leader, should the Prime Minister decide to resign (as Ciudadanos demands to vote in favour of a PP Prime Minister). With the announcement of his nomination, he drifts away from this possibility.
The Galician PM, Alberto Núñez Feijoo, who had also been considered to replace Rajoy, has also stepped out of the race, as he will be leading the conservatives in the regional elections. Galicia will also vote on September 25.
PP and PSOE leave the governing Catalan party (PDC, formerly CDC) without group in the Parliament
PP and PSOE have abstained in the Parliament General Committee decision to grant PDC (Partit Demòcrata Català) its own group in Parliament. This leads the party, which currently governs Catalonia, to the Mixed Group for the first time, as Ciudadanos voted against.
Group formation responds to a series of rules regarding the number of seats of a party, the vote percentage in each province and other technical considerations. MP lending and regulation overview have been regular practice in the past, to allow major parties to have a group even without fulfilling all the requirements. Speaking turns and funding are channeled through groups, so MPs in the Mixed Group are at a clear organizative disadvantage.
Last week, PP was rumoured to have reached a deal with PDC to grant the Catalan’s a group, but after the Parliament of Catalonia approved the roadmap bill towards unillateral independence, that seems unlikely now. Yesterday, PP voted against PDC’s group in the Senate.
The vote could draw Ciudadanos closer to Rajoy in an eventual confidence debate. Ciudadanos is fiercely opposed to PDC and any movement towards Catalan independece.
Unemployment down 2,2% people in July
The Social Security saw 83,993 new affiliations in July, achieving the best result for the seventh month of the year since 1997. 3,683,061 people remain unemployed in Spain. July is a traditionally positive month for unemployment data in the country, as seasonal tourism hirings kick in.
The PP has expressed its satisfaction. Opposition and critical commentators affirm that, while the number is not bad news, the precarity of the jobs created is a problem to be addresssed. Only 7.6% of the new contracts are permanent, while the rest are either formative or temporary.