Spain: Sánchez faces no-confidence vote – Politics
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez must meet in the Spanish Parliament vote of no confidence place. The project was initiated by the right-wing populist party Vox. It can be assumed that the party will fail with its plan: an absolute majority in parliament would be needed to overthrow Sánchez. So far, however, no other party intends to support the vote. Parliament debated it on Tuesday, and the vote is expected on Wednesday afternoon. However, the real goal shouldn’t be finding a majority anyway – but driving the government of the socialist Sánchez in front of him.
Vox party leader Santiago Abascal justified the step by saying that Sánchez was “destroying” the state and “attacking” its institutions. He accuses the socialist Prime Minister, among other things, of “promoting illegal immigration” and working with separatist parties in the regions of Catalonia and the Basque Country. When announcing the vote, Abascal said no one could say that vox watching idly “while this government is destroying coexistence, freedom, democracy and national unity”.
The right-wing populist candidate is 89-year-old Ramón Tamames, ex-politician and economist. If the vote of no confidence goes through, Tamames would theoretically take over the government – but Vox has announced that it wants to hold new elections in this case. These would then take place in May. However, Spain will elect a new government in December anyway.
Conservative leader slams ‘parliamentary show’
The aim of the right-wing populists is therefore not to show that parliament no longer supports the prime minister and then to replace him with what they consider to be a more suitable candidate, Tamames. Rather, Vox is simply about removing the prime minister from office, the Spanish newspaper analyzes El País. It can be assumed that the party wants to create a mood against Sánchez with the project.
During the debate, which will be broadcast live on television and on the Internet, Vox party leader Abascal uses every opportunity to make the government look as bad as possible. Candidate Tamames himself touched on a wide variety of topics in his speech, from the housing situation to the low birth rate, and he also criticized Sánchez for all the problems the country has. The Prime Minister then feels compelled to justify himself in his speech in Parliament.
Alberto Núñez Feijóo, leader of the conservative PP, criticized the vote of no confidence. A motion of no confidence is “a constitutional instrument of parliamentary control over the executive,” he was quoted as saying by the news channel La Sexta. He described Vox’s vote as a “parliamentary show”. Political scientist Sandra León, on the other hand, sees the vote as an opportunity. It’s a good way for the rest of the parties to demonstrate unity, she told La Sexta. Most recently, the coalition had fallen out over the tightening of sexual criminal law, but then repeatedly emphasized that the government would not break as a result.
It is the second time this legislature that Vox has attempted to overthrow the government. In October 2020, the other parties voted unanimously against the no-confidence vote. Since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975, there have been six such votes in Spain. They had all failed, except for the one in 2018: At that time, Pedro Sánchez replaced his predecessor Mariano Rajoy in office with a vote of no confidence.