MADRID: Pablo Iglesias will leave government after attending his last Council of Ministers on Tuesday following the vice president’s consultation with lawyers. A change of portfolios will follow.
Pablo Iglesias will leave Government next Tuesday, El Mundo reports, according to the Madrid Electoral Law. The law prevents a member of the national Government from standing as a candidate in regional elections.
Iglesias consulted with the Unidas Podemos legal services. He decided that Tuesday will be his last Council of Ministers. The change of portfolios will take place that same day or Wednesday.
Iglesias must do this before the deadline passes for the presentation of the electoral lists, between March 26th and 31st. The Madrid Electoral Law, in article 3.2, considers ineligible “the president and the members of the Government of the Nation and their secretaries of State”. This forced Iglesias to rethink his departure from the Government, according to El Confidencial on Tuesday .
Iglesias planned to stay as vice president longer
Initially, Iglesias planned to remain as vice president until practically the beginning of the electoral campaign, on April 16. This was similar to the timetable adopted by the former Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, when he stood as a candidate for the PSC in the Catalan elections on February 14.
In the case of Illa, those elections came under the General Electoral Law; Catalonia has no electoral law of its own.
Change in Executive
Pedro Sánchez must now make changes in the Executive to accommodate Iglesias’s departure. Iglesias, in his video announcing his decision to stand in the Madrid elections, told the president his substitute in the Vice Presidency should be Yolanda Díaz and the new Minister of Social Affairs should be the current Secretary of State, Ione Belarra.
In the following negotiations, the Government was reconfigured with Nadia Calviño as the new second vice president and Yolanda Díaz becoming third vice president. This tactical move by Sánchez theoretically prevents an economic minister like Díaz, from being above the Minister of Economy herself.
In principle, there are no further changes, since Moncloa did not object to the appointment of Belarra. However, the last word in the new Government set-up goes to the president.