Pedro Sanchez works on new strategy to win support in parliament

Acting Spain's PM Pedro Sánchez is working on a new strategy to win the support of the anti-austerity party group Unidas Podemos (a coalition of Podemos and the United Left), which refused to back his investiture bid in July, El Pais reported.

The Socialist party leader failed to secure either an absolute majority or a simple majority in his first investiture bid last month, as Unidas Podemos chose to abstain from the two rounds of voting. The two parties had long negotiations but didn't reach a governing deal. Sanchez offered the future coalition partner a deputy prime minister spot, as well as Health, Housing and Equality ministries, but Unidas Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias demanded a deputy prime minister role for social rights and equality, as well as the Health, Labour and Science and Universities ministries – a demand Sanchez refused.

According to El Pais sources Sanchez is now trying a new strategy to win the support of the anti-austerity party: instead of a coalition government, the acting prime minister wants to reach an agreement on government programs. As part of this strategy, he has been meeting with women’s associations, environmental groups, organizations that fight against depopulation and education activists. But Unidas Podemos remains suspicious. Unidas Podemos lawmaker Pablo Echenique wrote in a message on Twitter: “Either I keep 100% of power, with 20% of the votes and 35% of the seats, or I take Spain to new elections. This continues to be the last ultimatum-threat of Pedro Sanchez. All the rest is just decoration.”

If Sanchez fails to be invested at a second potential vote in September, Spain will head toward fresh elections in November. It would be the fourth time that Spaniards have been called to the polls to choose a government in four years, and the fifth election held this year alone.


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