Spain: PSOE steps aside to allow Rajoy to from a minority government

SERGIO BARRENECHEA

President of PSOE's management committee in charge of the socialist party since its leader Pedro Sanchez resigned, Javier Fernandez, chairs the party's Federal Committee meeting held in Madrid, Spain, 23 October 2016. PSOE holds its Federal Committee to vote their next move ahead the investiture debate. The PSOE could decide to make easier the investiture of Rajoy from the People's Party (PP) or vote against him and force the celebration of new elections at the end of the year.

Spain’s government will be in effect as politically interim as it has been for 10 months


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Following two successive electoral encounters, ten months with an interim government, and the resignation of the Socialist Party leader (PSOE), Spain will have a government.

Mariano Rajoy will remain at the helm of a minority administration but will have to rule with 137 deputies out of 350. Each bill will be a negotiation with the center-right Ciudadanos and the Socialists. Given that Brussels is pressing for the consolidation of the Spanish deficit, holding this interim government on track will not be easy.

The new Rajoy administration relies on PSOE’s support. Spain would have been forced to return to the polls this December if PSOE had not agreed to abstain from the forthcoming investiture vote. By abstention or a positive vote, PSOE will have to keep that government afloat.

The interim leader of PSOE Javier Fernández described this decision as the “the lesser of two evils.” But, his leadership will be contested, and it is not certain he will be able to maintain party discipline in parliament.

PSOE is divided; its former leader, Pedro Sánchez, resigned in August rather than allowing the Popular Party to form a government.

Rajoy is in office since 2012 but has since seen his popularity tumble following successive corruption scandals and austerity measures. The fear is that by the end of this week, his government will be looking as interim as it has been for the last ten months.

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