The result of the vote held last Friday in the Lower House of Parliament, with 170 votes in favour of the investiture of Mariano Rajoy as Prime Minister and 180 votes against, means it is necessary to continue negotiating to avoid a call for a third round of elections within a year.
Before holding the second round of voting, Rajoy once again asked for the confidence of the Lower House, particularly of the PSOE, whom he asked to join up to the agreement reached with the political groupings of Ciudadanos and the Canary Island Coalition, and with the Navarre People’s Union, Forum Asturias and the Party of Aragon – the last three of which the PP stood with in the last elections in a coalition – to reach a total of 170 MPs.
He said asserted that he was offering the socialists “an agreement that is not rigid, but rather open to suggestions and modifications”, and major State pacts on issues such as regional financing, pensions, education and gender-based violence, among other issues. “If they don’t want any of these, if they wish to stand on the sidelines, they should at least allow a government to be formed in Spain”.
Similarly to in his investiture speech on 30 August, the acting PM reiterated that Spain urgently needs a government, with broad Parliamentary support, because the country is going through an exceptional situation and certain commitments exist that cannot be put off, which require a coherent response from all the groups. “I trust that we can all reflect on the consequences of our decisions”, he said.
On this point, Rajoy underlined that the responsibility lies with everyone to avoid a repetition of the elections. “The ballot box in December cannot redress the absence of a Budget, the commitments breached with Europe, the financing of the regional governments or the damage to our outlook for growth and job creation. A price will be paid for not having a government, the cost will be high and this will fall upon all of us”.
“Spain needs a swift solution to tackle the pressing challenges, as well as to harness the positive outlook still offered by the coming years”, concluded Mariano Rajoy.
Result of the voting
At the end of the investiture session, and following the speeches from the different Parliamentary groups, the vote took place with a result of 170 votes in favour of the investiture of Mariano Rajoy to the Presidency of the Government and 180 votes against.
According to the provisions of Article 99.5 of the Spanish Constitution and Article 172.2 of the Regulation of the Lower House, if no candidate has obtained the confidence of the Lower House within two months following the first vote of confidence (31 August), then new elections will automatically be called.