SPAIN’S acting prime minister has lost a vote in the Congress of Deputies to officially take office after failing to secure the backing of the leftist Podemos.
Pedro Sanchez, of the left-leaning Partido Socialista (PSOE), got the backing of 124 Congress deputies in the investiture vote held today (Thursday).
A total of 155 members voted against him while Podemos deputies and others abstained. Sanchez needed a simple majority, more yeses than nos, to officially return to office as prime minister.
Sanchez’s failed bid for power comes after talks between PSOE and Podemos failed to yield a coalition deal.
Podemos announced it would abstain on the investiture vote after PSOE refused to give them key cabinet posts including the labour and science briefs.
Sanchez said PSOE represented the ‘useful’ left in an apparent swipe at Podemos.
Acting Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo accused Podemos of demanding virtual control of the government.
Si para ser presidente debo renunciar a mis principios y formar un #Gobierno sabiendo que no será útil a mi país, elijo proteger #España. La izquierda útil es la que gana, sirve a la gente y cambia las cosas. Porque gobernar es eso, ser útil a la ciudadanía. pic.twitter.com/CS0D02YHzl
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) July 25, 2019
Podemos sources said they wanted control of the Labour Ministry and others to ‘improve the lives’ of Spanish citizens.
Sanchez now faces a deadline of Monday September 23 to either hold another investiture vote or call fresh elections.
King Felipe is also due to hold a new round of talks with party leaders to discuss a resolution to Spain’s political impasse.