Pedro Sánchez has been sworn in as president by an absolute majority and in the first vote with 179 votes in favor, 12 more than four years ago. The result means that the PSOE candidate faces his third term with more support than those obtained, for example, by presidents such as Mariano Rajoy in 2016 or José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in their two terms in office in 2004 and 2008. Broad parliamentary support supported by the alliances of the PSOE and Sumar, which will reissue the progressive coalition Government, with the Catalan, Basque and Galician nationalist and independence forces, as well as the Canary Coalition.
In reality, the socialist candidate has obtained the vote in favor of practically all political groups in the Chamber, with the exception of the right and the extreme right. That is, from the PP and Vox benches and the UPN deputy. A result that clashes head-on with the accusations of “lack of legitimacy” or even “electoral fraud” launched from the rostrum by right-wing spokespersons during the plenary sessions this Wednesday and Thursday due, mainly, to the pacts with the Catalan independence.
“The only reproach that the PP and Vox make to us has nothing to do with the pacts with the nationalist parties,” said Pedro Sánchez in his final speech, to point out: “The only reproach they make to us is that with those agreements we have won. the Government that we are about to form. And that is the only thing that allows us to improve the lives of those who depend on the public,” he added.
The negotiations to achieve the very complex parliamentary majority that Pedro Sánchez was invested with today, and on which the viability of the legislature from now on depends, revolved around the historic amnesty law for those involved in the Catalan process. And that, the amnesty, was in fact the most recurrent issue of political confrontation between the groups that from today will officially repeat as opposition and those that will once again sit on the blue bench of the hemicycle.
“This debate ends with a vote that decides a legitimate, democratic, constitutional government, whose power is limited by laws and by the temporary mandate,” the president in pectore was responsible for recalling what seemed until relatively recently that it was not necessary remember. “When citizens decide with their vote, they are simultaneously choosing the government and the opposition. “Both have the same source of legitimacy and deserve the same respect,” he added.
With Sánchez invested as president by the Congress of Deputies, the president of the Lower House will comply with the constitutional protocol and will personally inform the head of state of the result of the vote. It will be this Thursday afternoon when Francina Armengol goes to the Zarzuela palace to meet with Felipe VI. It is expected that this Friday the promise before the Magna Carta of the re-elected President Sánchez will also take place in the presence of the king and in Zarzuela.
Plurinationality within the Constitution
Before the vote, and after the harsh attacks received on Wednesday by the opposition, with complaints of “fraud” by the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, and with the astracanadas of the leader of the extreme right, Santiago Abascal, who went so far as to compare the PSOE candidate with Hitler, Sánchez had had a much more peaceful parliamentary morning this Thursday. The debate had resumed at 9 in the morning with the turn of the EH Bildu parliamentary group and the absence of the Vox deputies, in a theoretical sign of protest towards the Basque independentists.
The spokesperson for the nationalist party, Mertxe Aizpurua, motivated her party’s support for Sánchez’s investiture in the mandate of Basque citizens resulting from the 23J elections: “Stop the access of the extreme right to the State Government.” And she warned that his vote will not be a blank check and they will demand compliance with the pacts, especially in relation to the social agenda.
Aizpurua also demanded that Sánchez address during this legislature, “without haste and without anxiety,” the debate on holding a referendum on plurinationality. “Society has made great progress in values such as tolerance, diversity and respect,” he said from the podium. “That is why we are sure that it is also possible to start a similar process on the territorial and national issue. That is the challenge to which we want to invite you, to open a new historical phase towards a model of advanced democracy that recognizes and respects all national feelings and aspirations,” she argued later.
Sánchez responded to Aizpurua that, in any case, this debate has to take place within the Constitution, which has, he said, all the resources to address this type of issue.
The PNV deepens its distancing from the PP
Then came the turn of the spokesman for the Basque Nationalist Party, Aitor Esteban, who deepened his distancing from Feijóo’s Popular Party, one of the political keys to this investiture process. The break between the Basque nationalists and the popular ones, with whom they have traditionally served as parliamentary support in the central government, was verbalized by Esteban himself with direct criticism of the PP for its alliances with Vox.
“Alberto, your tractor’s engine has seized due to using Vox oil,” the PNV spokesperson ironically alluded to the old ‘face to face’ he had with the former President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, in 2016, when he used proverbs and he asked him: “Although you love me Mariano, give less firewood and more grain.” The then candidate replied: “If you want grain, Aitor, I will leave you my tractor.”
The turn of the parliamentary groups was closed by the socialist spokesperson, Patxi López, who strongly condemned the attack on a group of deputies in the vicinity of Congress at breakfast time. “They feed those who then say get them and cheer for Franco and bring inflatable dolls, to the fascists and sexists. They feed those who assault socialist headquarters. To those who this morning have thrown eggs. Best wishes to all socialist militants. “They are not going to silence us!” he cried in a message to the right-wing bench.
At that moment the entire socialist group stood up to applaud the attacked deputy, visibly moved. “We ask for your sanity so that the monsters do not devour you. Don’t continue with your raca raca, Mr. Feijóo, you got more votes but Spanish society said no to your government. Today we are in luck because we fulfilled the democratic mandate of the polls,” he questioned the opposition leader.
In his final turn, Pedro Sánchez left a call not to forget the most basic rules of the game. “Democracy is only possible if this temporary and limited defeat is accepted. “This is parliamentary democracy and this is how it must continue to be if we want to preserve our free and peaceful coexistence,” the PSOE leader concluded his intervention, aware of the success of his umpteenth mission, apparently impossible: to be sworn in as president of the Government for the third time. time.