No-confidence motion against Spain’s PM flops

Madrid, Mar 22 (EFE).- A no confidence motion filed by far-right politicians against the left-leaning coalition government of prime minister Pedro Sánchez flopped in parliament Wednesday.

The Vox party presented 89-year-old economist Ramón Tamames, a former Communist Party member, as a replacement for the Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Sánchez.

The motion provided a platform for a harsh debate in parliament replete with the kind of political finger-pointing that has become increasingly common in Congress, Spain’s lower house, in recent years.

The motion garnered the support of Vox’s 52 lawmakers in the 350-seat Congress as the main opposition outfit, the conservative Popular Party, abstained on the matter.

The governing PSOE, its junior partners, the leftist Unidas Podemos, and smaller regional parties from Catalonia and the Basque region, rejected the motion during Wednesday’s vote.

“Today is a good day to say this out loud, to once again remind those who said ‘yes’ to this no-confidence motion or those who abstained, that the apocalypse has not arrived and nor shall it,” Sánchez said.

The attempt at toppling Sánchez, which was unlikely to succeed, comes at a time when Spanish politics is heating up ahead of regional and municipal elections in May and general elections by the end of the year.

Sánchez had sterner words for the leaders of Vox, Santiago Abascal, and the PP, Albert Feijóo, in Tuesday’s debate.

“Those who will abstain tomorrow are just as responsible as you (Abascal) for the immense damage that this no-confidence motion has on Spanish democracy. Tomorrow, you and your delirious no-confidence motion will not garner the 298 votes against that it deserves, and this is because Mr. Feijóo has decided to abstain when faced with this delirium,” the prime minister said.

“What the PP is doing with this abstention is a deferred payment. A cash advance, going from a decent ‘no’ to an indecent abstention. But ladies and gentlemen of the PP, be careful, because this kind of business will leave a stain. And sooner rather than later, the far-right will come to demand a second deferred payment to pay off the debts,” he added.

This is the sixth no-confidence vote to be put forward since democracy was reinstated in Spain in 1978, with the only one to bring down a government coming in 2018 when Sanchez led a motion against conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy..EFE


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