SPAIN today sees its first coalition government in modern times since democracy was restored in 1978, after the Franco dictatorship.
Though the margin going into today’s parliamentary ballot was wafer-thin, it was expected that Socialist Pedro Sánchez together with the far-left Podemos party would win.
The ballot, by a simple majority of MPs, commenced today at 12:45 (11:45 GMT) with a lengthy debate.
Abstentions by Catalan and Basque MPs threatened to play a critical role.
Socialist MPs had returned to Madrid from the provinces en masse yesterday evening, after the Epiphany holiday, anxious to avoid any transport delay which could stop them from voting, an outcome that has today marked the Spanish history books.
The results of today’s vote is as follows:
The results has enabled Pedro Sánchez of PSOE and Pablo Iglesias of Podemos to form Spain’s first coalition government.
Though the formation of a coalition government has been highly criticise by opposing party members, it moves Spain out of the political deadlock that has shrouded the country for months.
Spain’s new coalition government will press for an increase in the minimum wage in Spain from €900 to €1,000 per month which is hoped to come into force early this year.
The newly formed government has also promised to gets behind renewables with auction revamp.
Spain’s new government has agreed to reform its auction and electricity billing schemes, in a bid to ensure citizens benefit from the renewable boom sweeping through the country in recent years.
Mr Sánchez plans to hold his inaugural cabinet meeting this Friday.
The coalition government has been made possibly, not just because it includes Podemos, which Mr Sánchez himself had resisted ahead of an inconclusive general election in November, but because of the key roles played by Catalan and Basque separatists in the parliamentary votes.
ERC agreed to abstain on the condition that there are talks on Catalonia’s future. The talks will commence within 15 days as of today. At this meeting, the deadlines for further meetings will be set.