The PP plan to seek support for its leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, to be elected president does not yet have dates. A week after being appointed by the head of state, not only has the Galician not met with any of the parties that would have to go from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ or abstention to make possible an investiture that seems very difficult even for himself, but he hasn’t even set a schedule to do it. Meanwhile, Congress has given the green light to the ERC and Junts groups. And the negotiations for the re-election of Pedro Sánchez are advancing, given the impotence of the right.
Felipe VI relies on “custom” to launch Feijóo to an investiture without a sufficient majority
The PP plays, at the same time, the card of the presidential candidate Feijóo and the own criticism of the first opposition party. This Monday, the Deputy Secretary of Culture, Borja Sémper, announced that his leader will summon the leader of the PSOE to a bilateral meeting and on the sidelines of the round of contacts with the parliamentary groups.
The intention of the leader of the PP is that Pedro Sánchez agrees to make Feijóo president. The Galician leader wants to “convince” the PSOE candidate that “it is not good” for him to be re-elected with the express support of the pro-independence parties. He will also propose, according to Sémper, “formulas to give stability” to the country, and so that “the one who has won can form a government” and that “the interests of the Spaniards are a priority.” There is no date for that appointment. PP sources did not even want to confirm when or how Sánchez will be contacted, or where Feijóo wants the meeting to be held. Asked about the possibility that the acting president convenes at the Moncloa Palace, from the PP they have limited themselves to indicating that they want “them to speak.”
There is also no date for the round of contacts between the PP and the parliamentary groups. In the direction of Feijóo they have insisted in recent days that it could not start until this week, since the Table of Congress approved its composition this Monday afternoon. But Feijóo already negotiated last week the ‘yes’ of UPN and Coalición Canaria, in addition to those of Vox. In fact, he had this support before meeting with the head of state, Felipe VI, at the Palacio de la Zarzuela and, therefore, before being ordered by him to attempt the investiture. The rush of August has thus become a process that has not advanced an inch in seven days.
A process without a calendar, but with new milestones. Sémper announced this Monday that Feijóo wants to meet with all the regional presidents to talk about his investiture. An unprecedented event in Spain and for which there are no dates or format. PP sources did not know how to explain how or where these meetings would take place. Except for the socialist presidents of Asturias, Adrián Barbón, Navarra, María Chivite, and of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García Page; the Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu; and the Catalan president, Pere Aragonés, the rest of the regional autonomous Executives are from the PP or their allies.
PSOE and Sumar advance in their talks with Junts and ERC
Meanwhile, in the PSOE and in Sumar they continue to do their thing. With all eyes on how Feijóo fills in the long month towards the failed investiture, the coalition partners are taking advantage of the lack of focus to engage in discreet conversations with a view to the re-election of Pedro Sánchez. These negotiations are already concretizing some milestones that were in line with the agreement for the composition of the Congress Table, which precisely this Monday gave the green light for ERC and Junts to be able to form their own parliamentary groups thanks to the loan from the progressive forces.
Regarding the meeting with the leader of the PP, the Socialists affirm that Pedro Sánchez will attend if Feijóo calls him, but they demand a public apology after months of attacks. “It cannot be that one day we are a state party and another they make us give birth. Those who have lost the institutionality are they even giving fuel to hoaxes ”, they lament in Ferraz.
In an appearance before the media, the PSOE spokeswoman, Pilar Alegría, came to demand a public apology on Monday. “Before making this call she would ask him to apologize. She has been insulting the PSOE constantly and I would ask her to rectify these continuous calls for turncoats. I don’t know what Feijóo thinks the PSOE is, but it is a serious organization, ”she said Alegría.
The Socialists are convinced that, in the face of the investiture attempt, Feijóo “is going to have a very long time” next month. “This is a farce and it makes us lose a month. It is very strong to hear them now talk about Junts ”, say Executive sources who are convinced that the talks with the Catalan independentists will come to fruition although, for the moment, they deny detailing the limits of a possible amnesty law.
The long month of Feijóo
Feijóo tries to give content to the month that remains for the investiture session after negotiating the dates with the president of Congress, Francina Armengol. Barely 24 hours after being appointed by the king, the leader of the PP came face to face with the reality that all the parties of the block that the last legislature set up the PSOE and United We Can in Congress refuse to support him. Including his longed for PNV.
The PP only has one remote option left: an abstention from Junts. And he is going to try, as confirmed by Feijóo himself this weekend in an interview in El Mundo in which he said that Carles Puigdemont’s party is not his “rival”. A phrase that earned him the reaction of the leader of the Catalan PP, Alejandro Fernández, who did define Junts as a “rival”.
In the interview, Feijóo acknowledges before initiating any parliamentary contact that his investiture is almost impossible. “I do not see the investiture based on the failure-success variant. For me the variant is duty-responsibility ”, he said. “I want to make it clear that if I were willing to give up what Pedro Sánchez is going to give up, I would be the President of the Government,” he added.
An idea in which Sémper abounded this Monday. “It’s an extraordinarily complicated process, but that’s not why we’re going to stop trying,” he said. His intention, he added, is “to take advantage to show that there are two models”, his and Sánchez’s. The PP thus assumes a losing position and assumes that the socialist leader will have his opportunity to attempt the investiture, for which Feijóo’s has to be unsuccessful. Because while the PP keeps its negotiation frozen, the PSOE and Sumar advance with their potential partners. This Monday afternoon, both approved the ERC and Junts groups at the Congress Table, a condition to continue the talks.
In the PP they took it for granted that it was going to happen. Already in the morning Sémper crossed out the decision of “fraud of law” since the Catalan parties do not meet the requirements set out in the Regulations of Congress and the parties of Sánchez and Yolanda Díaz have had to ‘lend’ them deputies, something usual in both chambers of the Cortes Generales for decades, but this time the PP has denounced it as part of the compensation for the investiture of the PSOE leader.
“You cannot negotiate with the rights of the deputies”, they lamented from the PP after the decision of the governing body of Congress. The same sources also criticized the distribution of deputies in plenary raised by the PSOE and Sumar. An a priori trivial question, but one that has its importance before the television cameras.
“A picture is worth a thousand words”, they say from the PP, which stirred in the Table before the proposal of the majority groups because, in their opinion, the presence of the popular group was diluted and, therefore, its weight as ” opposition” to the bloc of the future and still hypothetical Government.