After completing his round of meetings with other party leaders, Mariano Rajoy has avoided making a clear statement regarding his willingness to bid for the prime ministerial position at an investiture vote in parliament.
At this point in time, after a repeat national election, it is absolutely unacceptable for him to show an interest in making a bid if, and only if, he is guaranteed success even before announcing his nomination.
Rajoy cannot play around with the possibility of failing his duties once again. Against all logic, the specters of instability and of an endless interim situation are haunting Spain again.
In our country’s best interest, everyone should drop mediocre tactics and stop trying to wear down their opponents, because it is society and the democratic system that are being worn down instead
In order to avoid such a dangerous scenario, which would prevent Spain from making crucial decisions within the deadlines set out by European institutions —we are talking about the budget spending ceiling—, it is imperative for Rajoy to set a date for his own investiture bid, and to ensure the greatest possible backing through political negotiation.
What Rajoy cannot expect is for others to merely adhere to his own proposals: a legislative or government deal must be thoroughly worked out. It is hard to understand why the Popular Party’s candidate to La Moncloa has not appointed negotiators yet, and is doing nothing more than establishing personal contact with the leaders of other political forces.
In the time that has elapsed since the second election, Rajoy has failed to secure a single commitment to bring his 137 seats closer to the 176 he needs to become prime minister in the first round of voting. This fact alone proves that Rajoy needs to move as soon as possible from the conversation to the negotiation stage.
For now, the PP has produced a document with proposals that trail off into general statements about an employment covenant and economic growth, about lowering taxes, improving education, reducing aforamientos (legal immunity enjoyed by officials), strengthening the institutions and modernizing the health system – points which are largely based on the PP’s own platform.
The tribunes who have been meeting with the tenant of La Moncloa seem to be closing off his path to reinstatement, although it bears noting that what they say is not the same as how they are saying it. The Socialist nominee, Pedro Sánchez, is insisting on a “no,” yet adds that this is his position “to this day,” suggesting that the future depends on a negotiation in which —and this is an absurd contradiction— he says he is not willing to participate. Equally absurdly, Sánchez is trying to throw back at Albert Rivera the pressure that the president of Ciudadanos placed on his shoulders after his own meeting with Rajoy.
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And Rivera has confirmed that his group will abstain at the run-off of the investiture vote: this modifies Ciudadanos’ earlier position contrary to Rajoy’s continuation at the helm of government. However, Rivera’s support is limited to getting a government up and running in Spain. Rivera has thus taken a sufficient step towards the country’s governability, though insufficient for a party that wants to regenerate Spain.
In our country’s best interest, everyone should drop mediocre tactics and stop trying to wear down their opponents, because it is society and the democratic system that are being worn down instead. It is necessary for everyone to avoid the temptation of playing with calendar dates, and for them to accept their share of responsibility. It is necessary for Rajoy to activate the deadlines as soon as possible, and for the others to negotiate a speedy and successful investiture.
English version by Susana Urra.