Most of the news out of Spain lately has centered on their problems with the runaway province of Catalonia and their secession-minded government. The recent Catalan elections didn’t alleviate that situation to speak of so trouble is still brewing in that region. But now, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has a new headache to contend with. Rajoy is the leader of the Popular Party (PP) leading the governing coalition in Parliament. Unfortunately, that party was just found guilty of financially benefitting from a massive graft scheme which channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars to their campaign coffers.
This has led the opposition Socialist Party to file a motion calling for a vote of no-confidence. If the motion carries and Rajoy loses the vote, he could be facing new elections two years early and an exit from his office. (Yahoo News)
Spain’s Socialist Party on Saturday pledged to hold new elections within months if its attempt to unseat Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy with a parliamentary no-confidence vote succeeds.
The country’s biggest opposition party, led by Pedro Sanchez, filed the motion seeking Rajoy’s ouster in the 350-seat lower house of parliament on Friday.
No date has been set for the vote, but the bid is being taken seriously in Madrid where a legislative election is not due for another two years.
The surprise move came a day after Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) was found guilty of benefiting from illegal funds in a massive graft trial.
“The PP leadership is concerned and does not totally rule out that the number of votes needed to overturn the government could be found,” the La Razon newspaper, considered close to the PP, said on Saturday.
Here’s where things become additionally tricky for Rajoy. The PP coalition majority was never large to begin with and they’ve been losing ground lately. The corruption news sweeping the nation certainly won’t help that. In order to beat the vote of no-confidence, Rajoy may need to get the help of a new block of allies. But one of the only significant voting blocks up for grabs by either Rajoy’s PP or the Socialists is… guess who. The Catalan separatists and Basque nationalists.
How excited do you think the Catalan contingent will be about supporting Rajoy after he’s been busy throwing a bunch of their politicians in prison on charges of sedition following their independence referendum last year? If this motion to hold a vote of no-confidence goes through it’s expected to be tight, but there’s a very real chance that Rajoy could come out on the losing end. One other possibility is that new general elections could be called instead, and some of the other parties in Parliament are indicating they would prefer that choice to a vote in Parliament.
Of course, the last time Rajoy called for new elections they were only for Catalonia. That didn’t work out well for him at all. And after this new graft scandal, national elections might not go much better. It seems that the Spanish have joined the growing club of countries which have lived to see interesting times.