Next Tuesday the 26th, at 12:00 p.m., the popular candidate Alberto Núñez Feijóo will finally undergo a plenary investiture as a candidate for the Presidency of the Government in Congress, 35 days after the Head of State entrusted him with that responsibility. A period that has been considered “a waste of time” for the PSOE, Sumar and other allied parties of the current coalition Government, because it has been shown that during Feijóo himself he has not managed to attract support for his candidacy to prosper, and that different voices in the PP have concluded as an exposition that is too long. Feijóo has justified himself, in several interviews and public statements, assuring that he only asked for 10 days to explore his possibilities and that it was the president of the Cortes, the socialist Francina Armengol, who extended that period. The leader of the PP, however, wrote to Armengol on August 22 a letter to which EL PAÍS has had access and in which he proposed, with the precedents of the last legislatures, that “the prudent thing” would be to give him “33, 46 or 24 days.” There were 35, the average of those three deadlines.
On the afternoon of that same August 22, King Felipe VI concluded with Feijóo the round of consultations with the political representatives elected at the polls on July 23 who wanted to go to La Zarzuela to check the options for submitting a candidacy for the Presidency to the vote of the Cortes. The first order was for Feijóo, who accepted it after talking with the Head of State. After the leader of the PP, the new president of Congress, Francina Armengol, appeared in La Zarzuela to officially ratify that decision of the monarch and after her hearing she called Feijóo by phone to compare the possible dates of that investiture session.
Armengol and Feijóo evaluated various possibilities, according to sources close to both, and finally agreed on the date of September 26, which will continue with a second day of debate and voting on the 27th and another final session 48 hours later, on Friday the 29th. Feijóo, For now, it has only added to the seats of the PP, those of Vox and those of the Canarian Coalition and the Union of the Navarro People (one each), that is, 172 deputies, four below the absolute majority. In this situation the vote will not succeed and it is most likely that the King will open another round of consultations to formalize the only possible candidacy, that of the socialist and current acting president of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, who will then have until November 27 to gain support before proclaiming a repeat election for mid-January.
Feijóo, in that conversation on the night of August 22 with Armengol, told him that attending an investiture vote the following week, that is, on the 29th and 30th, left him with very little room to establish contacts with other parties, just a week. Armengol thus explained to him that if he extended that plenary session one or two more weeks, by the beginning of September and his vote did not succeed, the deadlines for the electoral repetition would take the following campaign to the most symbolic dates of next Christmas, again in a period vacation. The two agreed that this variant was not appropriate and the plenary session was set for this Tuesday, September 26.
In the following days, however, and as criticism began to emerge from the Government and its allied parties that this deadline was a “waste of time” because the popular candidate was not going to get enough votes to be inaugurated, from the Around Feijóo it began to leak that that date with so much room for maneuver had not been proposed by him, who had been Armengol.
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On August 27, in an interview he gave to El Mundo, Feijóo literally declared: “I have not asked for a month. I have asked for 10 or 12 days. The president of Congress explained to me that in the case of the electoral repetition, so that December 24, December 31 or January 7 did not coincide, it was necessary to set the investiture on September 26. It seemed reasonable to me and I agreed.” This argument was repeated in the following days and has been maintained practically until the eve of the plenary session this coming week. It was even one of the complaints that Feijóo made against Armengol to the members of the National Board of Directors of the PP convened on September 11.
But Feijóo, on August 22, after speaking by phone with Armengol, decided that it would be good to leave in writing what his thoughts were on the matter and sent a letter to the president of the Cortes to institutionally establish his position. In the letter, Feijóo first points out that “in light of the electoral results and the dates in which we find ourselves, and from respect for her functions as President,” she believed “it is necessary to have a reasonable amount of time to be able to carry out these negotiations and those meetings with due diligence.” Next, the popular candidate added what his preferences were: “I would like to remind you of the precedents, especially those of the last legislatures (XII, XIII and XIV), in which between the first candidate proposal formulated by HM the King and the celebration of the investiture plenary session took 33, 46 and 24 days respectively.”
Francina Armengol took note of the suggestions proposed by Feijóo, added the deadlines of the three previous ones that the popular leader reminded her, divided that figure to establish an average that gave 35 days, and that was the date that she offered. Feijóo accepted it.
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