Spanish Popular Party leader Alberto Nunez Viejo on Wednesday failed to gain enough support in the Spanish parliament to be appointed the country’s prime minister.
The Conservative leader needs to get the support of at least 176 out of 350 lawmakers in parliament – an absolute majority – to be confirmed as prime minister in Wednesday’s vote. But only 172 deputies voted in favor of his nomination, while 178 voted against him.
Although the Popular Party won the largest number of votes in the national elections in July, it was unable to achieve a majority, and its closeness to the far-right Vox party made it impossible for Figo to obtain additional support from other groups in Parliament.
The Spanish Constitution requires Parliament to vote on Figo’s attempt to form a government for the second time within 48 hours. The Popular Party leader only needs to secure a simple majority of votes – more than yes – but a majority of lawmakers are expected to reject his nomination again on Friday.
If that happens, King Felipe VI will have to summon political leaders to Zarzuela Palace and question them again about who they think should be prime minister.
Interim Prime Minister and Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez is well placed to remain in office, but in order to do so, he will need to convince lawmakers from the Catalan separatist group Juntes to support his bid to form a government.
The rejection of Feijóo’s candidacy on Wednesday automatically starts the countdown to new elections in Spain. If lawmakers do not give Figo or another candidate their support to form a government within two months, parliament will be dissolved and a new vote will be held on January 14, 2024.
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