Madrid, Aug 22 (EFE).- Spain’s King Felipe VI on Tuesday nominated Alberto Feijóo of the conservative People’s Party as a candidate for prime minister.
Feijóo, whose PP won the most seats in general elections on July 23, will face a parliamentary vote to approve his appointment as PM.
Before the nomination was confirmed by Lower House Speaker Francina Armengol on Tuesday evening, Feijóo had said that he would accept it “with honor, with loyalty to the nation and with loyalty to the constitutional monarchy.”
The PP won 137 seats in July’s snap poll and has the support of the far-right Vox party, which won 33 seats, plus another two from fringe regional parties. But that is still short of the 176 seats required for an absolute majority in the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of parliament.
The King made the decision after consulting with the leaders of the parties in parliament, as per the Spanish Constitution.
At a press conference after meeting with Felipe VI, Feijóo acknowledged that “no party has an absolute majority”, but insisted that he was hopeful of gaining the four missing votes needed to reach the threshold of 176 seats.
The candidate proposed by the head of state needs an absolute majority in the first vote or a simple majority in a second vote, which would be held 48 hours later.
If Feijóo fails to garner enough support, the king will appoint a new candidate for prime minister.
Acting prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, whose Socialist Party (PSOE) came second in July’s election with 121 seats, said Tuesday that he believes he has enough backing in parliament to be approved for a second term.
The left-wing Sumar party, PSOE’s former junior coalition partner, won 31 seats in the election, giving the progressive bloc a total of 152 seats, meaning Sanchez would have to join forces with other smaller parties, such as the separatist Junts per Catalunya (“Together for Catalonia”), to achieve a majority.
If no prime minister has been appointed within two months of the first vote, another election will be held. EFE