Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blunt refusal

Spain has been in political limbo since the general election in December 2015, when the Popular Party took the most votes but fell short of a majority. No party was able to do a deal to form a government, leading to a new poll in June. The result was more or less the same, with the PP coming out victorious but again falling short of a clear win. The Socialists’ refusal to abstain in the second round of an investiture vote has prolonged the impasse, which is currently heading toward a third general election, potentially on Christmas Day. An increasing number of voices within the leadership of the PSOE, however, have been calling for a rethink on strategy, in a bid to avoid imposing an unprecedented third general election on a weary electorate.

However, the leader of the Socialists (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez, was convinced on Wednesday that he was still in a position to head up his party and continue with his refusal to abstain, despite the fact that 17 members of the executive committee – accounting for just over half of the total – had presented their resignations earlier in the day in a bid to force him out.

Most would say that there is not a cat in hell chance of the PSOE forming a coalition that would work. If there was, then it would be easy to understand the stance that Pedro Sánchez has taken. If there was a third election, it is likely that the PP would gain more seats but perhaps still not enough to hold a majority. It is highly unlikely that the Socialists would gain enough seats to form a government so what is the point? It seems that everyone but Sánchez understands this.

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