After 319 days without government, Spanish Socialist Workers’ party decided, no without controversy, to support Mariano Rajoy (People’s party leader), so he can be sworn in as a president. The decision came after the left-wing party General Secretary Pedro Sanchez resigned his position, and a newly-created Management Committee decided to refrain in the president’s election voting.
Contrary to what happened in other countries, in Spain politics is ruled by party’s discipline. In other words, deputies are forced to vote in accordance with party’s stance. However, yesterday something exceptional took place, when the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) chose to vote against Mariano Rajoy, breaking the party discipline. The consequences of those who did not support the People’s Party leader are still to be announced, although the future of the party hangs in the air.
If we have a look at how Spanish people voted, we will see that more than the left-wing parties collected more than 10.000.000 votes, while People’s party only got 7.906.185. With such numbers, an alternative to a right government was a coalition among the left parties. However, the discourse of fear did have an effect, resulting in the Socialists rejecting a coalition with parties like ‘Podemos’ or the pro-independence ones.
A better option was to support the traditional-contrary party, the barons of the Socialists thought. Truth is the left-wing-party voters cannot be pleased with such decision for many reasons. The traditional Spanish-left party has, or at least used to has, a totally different electoral programme compared to the right-wing group.
Secondly, they claimed to reverse the laws People’s party passed that curb rights such the freedom of speech, demonstration and information; but supporting the party that created those laws does not show congruence. And last but not least, the decision to support Mariano Rajoy‘s Government contravenes the willingness of the members of the Socialist Party, since a vast majority showed their disagreement with such determination. Indeed, yesterdat took place a demonstration against Mariano Rajoy running the country, but apparently Spaniard’s sentiment is not the most important point for the Socialists.
At this point, the next months are going to be crucial for the Socialist party. Every movement the left-wing group makes from now on will be under close observation, drawing a blurred line between running along with People’s party, supporting its decisions. Or instead, they can be a strong and fierce opposition party that still cares for Spaniards will.
Notwithstanding, there are more aspects the left-wing party needs to look after. Pedro Sanchez is set to compete for the party’s leadership since at this moment the Socialists does not have a leader. And while the popularity of those who support Mariano Rajoy is dropping, the number of people that stand with Pedro Sanchez is increasing. Leaving the party in a vulnerable position that may either tears the left group apart or brings it back together.