Vox’s motion of no confidence in Pedro Sánchez, destined to fail

The Congress of Spain paid tribute this Tuesday to Ramón Valle-Inclán. The first day of the debate on the motion of censure presented by Vox to overthrow the government Pedro Sanchez It seemed to be inspired by some of the works of a brilliant Galician playwright, who with farce and grotesque reflected with finished irony the miseries of Spanish society at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.

The Spanish political system grants the groups represented in Parliament the instrument of the vote of no confidence, a mechanism that allows the majority formations of the opposition to propose an alternative program and candidate to the Government and, if they obtain an absolute majority of the Chamber, overthrow the president and appoint a new one.

Although only once in the history of Spanish democracy has this tool led to a change of government, when in 2018 Pedro Sánchez displaced Mariano Rajoythis system is often used as mechanism of attrition of the government in office and the presentation before the public opinion of an alternative. This is what Felipe González did in 1980, when the motion of no confidence presented against then President Adolfo Suárez, despite not being successful, served as a prelude to the overwhelming victory that he would achieve at the polls two years later.

Since then, the history of Spain has recorded another five motions of censure, and although only the one by Sánchez against Rajoy was crowned with success, never until this Tuesday had there been a situation as grotesque as the one carried out with the motion presented by Vox.

Unlike the mechanisms of other political systems, where a president can be removed and elections are immediately called, In Spain, the presentation of a motion of censure requires a specific proposal. The objective is that if the motion prospers, the new president can finish the legislature. To do this, it must offer a government program in the motion debate and demonstrate that it has a parliamentary majority to carry it out.

None of that proposed Vox with the motion of censure whose debate began this Tuesday. The far-right formation articulated its proposal on the sole axis of throwing Sánchez out of the La Moncloa palace and calling new elections as soon as possible. Since the socialist president regained power in the 2019 elections, Vox considers him illegitimate for having achieved a parliamentary majority thanks to a mix of left-wing and separatist parties that allowed his investiture. Since the pandemic, he has articulated a catastrophic speech with which he ensures that the survival of Spain as a nation is in danger if the socialist president remains in power.

That is why he claims to throw him out to call elections, and to demonstrate that removing Sánchez is a priority that exceeds his interests as a party, he chose Ramón Tamames as a candidate, a prestigious 89-year-old economist and former Communist Party militant, political prisoner during the Franco regime. that at the end of the eighties, when he was a councilor in Madrid, he starred in an act of turncoat by leaving Izquierda Unida and giving his votes to the right in a motion of censure that removed the then socialist mayor Juan Barranco from the City Council.

Tamames had been away from the spotlight for decades, and this Tuesday he achieved the goal of turning attention back to him. Those who expected him to give an extravagant performance did not disappoint. He did not applaud the speech of Santiago Abascal, the Vox leader who proposed him as president of the Government, interrupted one of Pedro Sánchez’s speeches to protest because the president had come with “a bill of 20 pages” written in advance to respond to things he had not said, complained that the speeches were too long, refused to respond to interventions by minority groups and justified the motion that the coalition government does not respect the division of powers. However, to confirm that his ideological journey from the communist resistance to Francoism to the candidacy for the extreme right is complete, he attacked the Historical Memory Law, predicted a catastrophe due to excessive spending and censured the increase in the minimum wage recently approved by the government of Sanchez.

For the Coalition Executive of the PSOE and Unidas Podemos, very worn in recent weeks by the approval of controversial laws promoted by the ministers of Podemos and the continuous conflicts between both forces, the motion of censure has meant a ball of oxygen. In a gesture of political reflexes, Sanchez He not only took advantage of the more than ten hours of debates to review the achievements of his government, but also ceded part of the defense of the government to its vice president Yolanda Díaz, belonging to the political space of Podemos although he is not part of that party. Díaz took the opportunity to advance the launch of Sumar, the project with which he intends to unite the entire political space to the left of the PSOE before the general elections this year. The vice president spoke for an hour and a half and Tamames only used a minute and a half to answer her.

The motion of no confidence has put the Popular Party in an uncomfortable place, in the midst of the process of reconquering the votes that went to its right flank towards Vox and which is now seeing how the ultra party recovers a leading role that it had lost. To the chagrin of the PP, the motion allows Sánchez to come out stronger when just a few weeks ago his government was going through the worst moment of the legislature.

This Wednesday the debate will conclude and then the vote will be held. The PP has already announced that it will abstain, so Vox will hardly add any additional votes to those of its 52 deputies. Very far from the 176 he needs to invest his eccentric candidate as president.

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