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  • Spanish acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez delivers his speech during the investiture debate at Parliament in Madrid, Spain, July 22, 2019.

    Spanish acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez delivers his speech during the investiture debate at Parliament in Madrid, Spain, July 22, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 January 2020

Albeit not enough to get him confirmed as PM the first time around, should the result be repeated in a second investiture vote Sanchez would win as a simple majority is needed.

Spanish Socialist Worker's Party (PSOE) leader and acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez failed Sunday in his first attempt to secure sufficient backing to become the country’s prime minister in a vote in Parliament, but the result will grant him another chance on Tuesday.

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Sanchez needed to win the necessary 176 seats for an overall majority in Spain's 350-seat lower chamber of parliament (the Congress of Deputies), yet obtained 166 votes in favor, 165 against and 18 abstentions.

Albeit not enough to get him confirmed as PM the first time around, should the result be repeated in a second investiture vote Sanchez would win as the Constitution only requires a simple majority in the second vote.

This is possible to the 155-seats secured from the PSOE bloc and their coalition with left-wing Unidas Podemos (UP), as well as finally reaching an agreement with regional separatists Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) which decided to abstain during the Spanish parliament’s vote.

The PSOE needed the Catalan separatist bloc to at least abstain to secure Sanchez’s confirmation in office which came by committing to an open dialogue on secessionists’ wishes for Catalonia, to be submitted to a citizens’ vote in the northern region.

Prior to the voting, the Spanish Socialists and UP presented their joint governing deal, outlining the policies that they want to implement from their planned coalition government. 

The governing plan includes tax rises for higher earners and large firms, an increase in the minimum wage and a partial overturn of regressive aspects of the conservative Popular Party’s labor reforms.

“We present a government program to defend and expand social rights and public services, make feminist policies and preserve the environment,” Unidas Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias said.

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