Alberto Núñez Feijóo and Félix Bolaños, on September 19 in Congress. Samuel Sánchez
The two months and three days that have passed since the general elections have not been useless, despite the enormous noise, the vain attempts of the party with the most votes on July 23 to obtain support to invest its candidate and the closing of this Sunday with militants and PP sympathizers crowding Avenida Felipe II in Madrid. These 63 days prior to the investiture debate of Alberto Núñez Feijóo have served to mark the performance of the PP in the opposition and to very decisively direct the negotiation of the PSOE with Junts and ERC.
The PP’s desire to repeat elections if, as seems inevitable, its candidate fails to become President of the Government, collides with the determination of Pedro Sánchez and his team to ensure that this does not happen. The future of the PP, the PSOE, Sumar and the nationalist parties has been outlined in these weeks: from their strategies to possible internal crises.
“I will do what I have to do. Whatever it takes; no matter what it costs me.” The person who said that was José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, in July 2010. This Sunday, in Madrid, Alberto Núñez Feijóo used the same expression to point out that he will not bow down to the nationalists as he assumes will happen with Sánchez if he grants the amnesty, or the legal formula that could be agreed upon, for those convicted, accused or escaped by the process.
Not only will it be amnesty – “Puigdemont to prison” was the most chanted cry at the Madrid rally – but Feijóo for weeks has considered the demand of the leader of Junts per Catalunya (JuntsxCat) to call a self-determination referendum sealed.
The discretion of the negotiations is absolute. “We have conspired to keep the secret,” acknowledged in Vitoria the general secretary of Junts, Jordi Turull, a guest of the PNV at the Alderdi Eguna. There is no data. Only the requests of the independentists and the value judgments of the PP that Sánchez will accept everything they ask of him. The Government says nothing except that the Constitution is its reference book in this negotiation.
“Even if it costs me the Presidency of the Government, I will defend Spain and all citizens, free and equal,” the popular leader reiterated this Sunday, anticipating his defeat. Feijóo has not left there waiting for this Tuesday, in compliance with the orthodoxy of the event, the candidate for La Moncloa to present a complete project for the country, with its complete link to the EU. There is no doubt that the diatribe against Sánchez will constitute the loudest part of his intervention, especially in the replies.
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Only this week after Feijóo’s investiture, Sánchez’s investiture will no longer be negotiated in this parallel reality in which the last two months of political life have passed. While the jurists of the Government and Sumar, separately, study the legal and constitutional margins of pardon measures for those involved in the process apart from those already pardoned, each political force looks to itself.
Whatever happens, the national and nationalist parties have activated the spring of survival. Sumar, determined to ensure that a coalition government with the PSOE is repeated, works to not be a flash in the pan, so that its core resists all the challenges that may come and consolidates itself as a relevant political force. The brand led by Yolanda Díaz held a debate session on Welfare and rights this weekend with the aim of keeping the organization in operation with proposals for reforms, apart from the debate on Catalonia. Along with political action, this movement cannot ignore the criticism of Podemos, and now also, Izquierda Unida, for the little or no participation that Sumar opens to both parties.
In the PSOE, their long history makes them possessors of an immense heritage in the Government, in the opposition, with internal unity and with deep fractures. Now the vast majority is with Sánchez, as they reiterate, not only in the leadership of the party, but in the majority of the federations. Nobody can expect a call from the president of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, or from the secretary general of Aragón, Javier Lambán. for the deputies of their respective federations to vote not for Feijóo, of course, but against Sánchez’s investiture.
Not all veterans align with Felipe González and Alfonso Guerra, as other socialists of the Transition and subsequent years show in articles and social networks. There are many who ask for support for the general secretary. In the government or in the opposition, with or without new elections, “the PSOE will continue in the history of Spain.” This sentence from a veteran territorial leader synthesizes the testimonies of many others. That does not mean that internal peace is guaranteed. If there is a socialist government, we will see if the ship capsizes when the agreements with the independentists begin to materialize.
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