• Live Feijóo investiture debate, live
  • Congress Feijóo stands before Bildu: "I leave your votes to Sánchez, I do not want them"

There have been no surprises. The result of the first investiture vote of the popular candidate, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has been as expected. 172 yeses versus 178 noes. The road to failure is paved. The leader of the PP will not get the confidence of the House. On Friday, when the second and final ballot is substantiated, the position of Congress will be ratified. It will be by very little, four votes, but enough – with only one of difference would be enough – to knock down his aspiration to reach the Government.

The failure, however, has not made a dent in Feijóo's leadership at the head of one of the two blocs into which Parliament is divided. A bloc that in the absence of four seats occupies half of the Chamber. The popular will lose the investiture – in fact he himself took it for granted – but he has consolidated himself as the standard-bearer of the scourge to a rival, Pedro Sánchez, who has preferred to avoid the debate so as not to have to reveal the amount of the bill that he will pay to independentistas and abertzales in exchange for his investiture.

"This debate has been worthwhile," said the PP candidate today at the end of the session, "because we have all portrayed ourselves, with words and silences" and because it has become clear that "there is an alternative." "I," he stressed, "will leave this debate with my principles and those of eleven million voters, intact."

As of Friday, when the Chamber confirms the failed claim of the popular candidate, the time of a new candidate, Pedro Sánchez, will begin to run. The same one who assured that he would never agree with Bildu, that the amnesty did not fit in the Constitution and that those who starred in the attempt of the procés committed "very clearly" a crime of "rebellion". Now its reissue in La Moncloa depends on all of them: ERC, Junts and Bildu. Also of the PNV, a formation that depending on the convenience bets either on the left or on the right.

The foreseeable thing is that Felipe VI opens without loss of time a new round of contacts with the parties that sit in Congress to make a second designation of candidate for investiture. It is also true that neither the Catalan secessionists nor the Basque Abertzales will attend it once again. The head of state will have to trust the word of Sánchez when he assures him that he has the support of all of them to get invested. Without that support, the Socialist's guaranteed votes would fall far short.

Pedro Sánchez enters the Chamber during the intervention of the spokesperson of Bildu, Mertxe Aizpurua.JAVIER BARBANCHO

Demands of the independence movement

It is also very foreseeable that Pedro Sánchez will pay and accept the demands of the independence movement: amnesty, first and referendum on self-determination, later. And, consequently, that he can form a government again. And, in that scenario, what is clear from the failed investiture debate of Feijóo is that the popular will be the undisputed leader of an opposition that is already very hard for as long as the legislature resists. And also, that he is determined to try again in the belief that the opportunity will come, as they say in his party, "sooner rather than later."

Throughout the debate, the leader of the PP moved on three levels: censure Sánchez for his policy of cessions to those who attacked the State, those already confirmed and those that he supposes are to come; to outline the general lines that he would implement if he could form a government including as a basis for them up to half a dozen state pacts with the PSOE (territorial policy, water, welfare state, families, institutional and economy) and finally, his reply to the range of minority parties willing to sell their votes to the highest bidder.

These were the candidate's guides and, despite the surprise of Sánchez's decision to avoid the debate, the candidate knew how to keep them until the end. Today, the second session of the parliamentary discussion, the intervention of the Socialists represented by Deputy Óscar Puente, had fallen into oblivion.

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Investiture pact calculator: the possible alliances for Feijóo to get the presidency

  • Writing: EL MUNDO

Investiture pact calculator: the possible alliances for Feijóo to get the presidency


Total satisfaction in the PP after the investiture speech: "Sánchez can not stand that Feijóo humiliates him"

  • Writing: JUANMA LAMET Madrid

Total satisfaction in the PP after the investiture speech: "Sánchez can not stand that Feijóo humiliates him"

Feijóo, at least for the moment, has managed to consolidate himself as the leader of a right that aspires to reunify. The head of the ranks of Vox, Santiago Abascal, on this occasion has made it easy for him although his support costs the popular the categorical rejection of other formations such as the PNV. However, between adding 33 seats or only five, for the PP there is no color.

Who still and until Friday is a candidate for the investiture has opted in his first major parliamentary debate for a policy that defends "the principles and the word" and that does not surrender to the "blackmail" of those who have as a project to dismember the State and dynamite what they contemptuously call "regime of 78" and "false Transition".

Feijóo marked against his main rival, the silent Sánchez, a definitive line by emphasizing that he would never accept power if it implies accepting the demands of a fugitive from Justice like Puigdemont and, later, assuring not wanting the votes of Bildu and qualifying as "immense honor" that those of Otegi opt for the socialist and not for him.

The leader of the PP, over two days, wanted to present himself as the defender of the "equality of all Spaniards" and the politician who "puts the general interest before personal ambition." Also as "the free candidate" who does not fold before extortion and the parliamentarian who has a reply for everyone: from Sumar to the PNV, a force the latter, to which Feijóo did not deprive himself of warning that he runs the double risk of being overtaken by Bildu in his own territory and being bulldozed by Sánchez.

The candidate spoke of "concord", "consensus" and "reliability" and said he was against "frentism" and digging trenches. And he also repeatedly insisted that his party has been the winner of the last three electoral appointments: the municipal, the regional and the general. But in the Spanish parliamentary system, in reality who triumphs is not the one who accumulates the most votes but the one who manages, with whatever formula, to attract more support in Congress. And this time, in the absence of Puigdemont raising his thumb or not, Sánchez has more assets.

  • Congress of Deputies
  • PP
  • Bildu
  • Pedro Sanchez
  • PNV
  • PSOE
  • To:
  • Santiago Abascal Conde
  • Add
  • Alberto Núñez Feijóo
  • Philip VI
  • CKD
  • Amnesty