Spanish conservative opposition leader Alberto Nunez Feijóo went all out in a debate today to gain the necessary support to form a government. In doing so, he did not spare outgoing prime minister Sánchez.
It seems hopeless for Feijóo. Although he and his conservative PP won the most seats in July, he failed to win a majority in parliament. Not even with support from the far-right Vox.
It was fierce today and Feijóos speech was akin to a vote of no confidence. Sánchez remained silent and did not interfere in the plenary session. The PSOE’s argument is that it is time to listen to Sánchez “when it is time for his own investiture”. Feijóo shows unity and charges against Sánchez and the amnesty. In an hour-and-43-minute speech, the opposition leader set out his government programme, realising that he has no chance of his investiture. He will be supported by 172 MPs (PP, Vox, UPN and CC), but 178 MPs will vote against him (PSOE, Sumar, Junts, ERC, EH Bildu, PNV and BNG).
Feijóo’s speech combined specific measures from his government programme with criticism of Sánchez and the “price” he said the socialist is “willing to pay” to stay in power. This is how Feijóo himself labelled Sánchez as a candidate. He based much of his speech on criticism. According to him, Sánchez will give in to pro-independence supporters. He himself spoke of “principles”, “limits” and “words” and presented himself as a “reliable president”.
‘No goal, not even the premiership, justifies the means of accepting a possible amnesty law that is ‘neither legally nor ethically acceptable’. There is no democracy outside the Constitution,’ Feijóo reproached acting prime minister Sánchez.
The latter heard the reproaches from his seat and refused to intervene in a plenary session that was seen by pro-independence supporters more as a ‘motion of censure’ by the socialist than an investiture speech by Feijóo.
The PP candidate spoke of the PSOE’s ‘systematic cheating’ and said it was within his grasp to become president, but not at any cost. He said that ‘Carles Puigdemont is only looking for a president who meets his demands’ and added: ‘He does not care whether he is from the PP or the PSOE, he has offered us both exactly the same. The only difference is the integrity of the two possible candidates who can answer him, you or me’.