Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Feijoo loses 1st vote to become Spain's PM

28 Sep 2023, 02:05 GMT+10

MADRID, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The leader of Spain's right-wing People's Party (PP), Alberto Nunez Feijoo, was defeated on Wednesday in his first attempt to become the country's new prime minister.

Feijoo lost his bid in the 350-seat Congress following a two-day debate as he received only 172 supporting votes, four short of the necessary unanimity of 176 votes.

The deputies of every party except Feijoo's PP, the extreme right-wing Vox, the Navarrese People's Union (UPN) and the Coalicion Canaria (with one vote each), opposed Feijoo becoming the new prime minister, despite the PP winning the general election with 137 seats in the 350-seat Congress.

Feijoo highlighted his party's general election performance in his speech on Tuesday, which opened the debate, insisting that "although some don't want to recognize it, we won the general election of July 23, with 16 deputies more than the second party (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE)."

Spokespeople for other parties, such as Oscar Puente for the PSOE and Marta Lois for the left-wing Sumar, pointed out that under Spain's parliamentary system, "winning an election means being able to form a government," and that Feijoo did not have the support to do that.

Aitor Esteban, who spoke for the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), highlighted what he considered Feijoo's main problem -- that other parties will not support his bid for prime minister as long as he relies on the support of the far-right Vox party.

Feijoo will have a second chance to try and convince Congress on Friday, when a simple majority would be enough to take him to power.

"I am leaving with a lot of lessons learned," Feijoo said on Wednesday.

If Feijoo fails again, King Felipe VI is expected to hold a new round of talks with party leaders before presumably asking acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to try and form an effective government.

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