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Sánchez looking to form "grand coalition" if Rajoy fails to secure support
ThinkSpain , Friday, January 8, 2016

The leader of the PSOE, Pedro Sánchez, has announced his intention to form a "grand coalition" of progressive parties to govern Spain if the current acting prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, fails to get the necessary support to be re-elected as the country's leader.

On the back of a series of declarations by the various socialist leaders with regard to a pact between the PSOE, Podemos and other left-wing parties, Sánchez revealed yesterday in Lisbon that he is looking for an agreement which will "change Spain".

The announcement came after Sánchez met with the Portuguese prime minister, the socialist Antonio Costas, who managed to take power from Pedro Passos Coelho after achieving an historic coalition pact with the left-wing Bloque de Izquierda (allied with Podemos and the Greek Syriza party in the EU) and with the Communist Party.

Sánchez aspires to form a similar coalition pact to the Portuguese one and made it clear yesterday that if Rajoy fails to be re-invested as prime minister, the PSOE would offering "an outstretched hand to the progressive parties".

He also made it clear that the PSOE members of parliament would not support either Rajoy or any other representative of the PP as president of the government.

Shortly after Sánchez declared his intentions, the vice-president of the government, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría responded saying that when a country is governed by those who have not won the election, the losers are the people of that country.

"A Portuguese-style pact would ignore the choices made by the Spaniards who voted. If Mr Sánchez knew how to add up, he'd know he hasn't got enough seats and that it would be the worst option for Spain from an institutional point of view because it would include parties who don't have a vision of a unified Spanish nation, which is what the Spanish people chose when they went to the ballot boxes", she said, adding that what the country needed was "a moderate legislature, with a good economic and social policy".

She asked Sánchez to put the interests of the Spanish people above "party or personal ambition" when working out who should govern the country.

The secretary general of the PP, María Dolores de Cospedal, also warned about the unfeasibility of a Portuguese-style pact, explaining that the PSOE would need the support of not only the "most radical" socialists, but also of the pro-independence parties, "who have said that they no longer want to form part of our country".

"I would prefer a more German-style pact", she concluded, in reference to a coalition between the two main parties.

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