Socialists to seek censure motion against prime minister over payments scandal

Rubalcaba declares move is required for the “dignity of parliament”

PSOE leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba in this morning's Senate meeting.
PSOE leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba in this morning's Senate meeting.EL PAÍS

The leader of Spain’s main opposition Socialist Party (PSOE), Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, has announced he will seek a motion of censure against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy over the Bárcenas scandal for the “dignity of parliament.” If carried through, the motion will be the third of its kind since Spain returned to democracy.

The Socialists’ proposition is conditioned on the probability that the governing Popular Party will once again resist calls for Rajoy to appear before Congress to offer an explanation over the case, which concerns the alleged illegal financing of the party and cash payments to top officials, including the head of government and the party’s general secretary, María Dolores de Cospedal.

Rubalcaba has conferred with the other parliamentary opposition groups and all have agreed that Rajoy must be summoned to appear before Congress. The Socialists understand the censure motion will not be carried due to the PP’s parliamentary majority but will table it as a gesture of no confidence.

Rubalcaba said the move was designed to flush Rajoy out

Rubalcaba told the Senate Socialist Group that the move was designed to flush Rajoy out to appear in Congress. However, the statutes do not require the prime minister to do so unless he so desires. The two previous targets of a censure motion, Adolfo Suárez (UCD, a predecessor of the PP) and Felipe González (PSOE) did respond to the summons.

The Socialist leader also stood by his party’s demand for Rajoy’s resignation over the payments scandal, saying that the political ramifications “affect the stability of the country.”


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