SPANISH president Mariano Rajoy has refused to confirm or deny rumours that he has agreed with rival party PSOE for fresh regional election to be held in January in Catalunya. When asked, the PP leader said his party...
Rajoy calls for PP-socialist-Ciudadanos mega-coalition: “I, and the PP, won the elections”
ACTING president Mariano Rajoy says a tripartite government made up of the PP, socialists and centre-right independents Ciudadanos would be the 'best option' to escape the current deadlock following the general elections on December 20.
The mega-coalition would involve 248 MPs out of the 350 available seats on the same cabinet – led, of course, by Rajoy, the PP leader says.
“Our priority is that Spain has a government very soon – and, this aside, my intention is to stand for presidency of the PP again,” Rajoy told interviewers on radio station Cadena Cope yesterday (Tuesday).
His advice to Catalunya's regional president, who will be forced to call a re-election after his planned coalition partners refused to invest him as leader, was to 'dump his independence ideas'.
“A regional government in Catalunya supported by the CUP and ERC [two pro-secession parties] would never do any good,” Rajoy insisted.
Although he was reticent about making predictions, the hitherto president – who has been in power since November 2011 – stressed that the PP had won the most seats and it was, therefore, only fair for Spain's government to 'be what the people have chosen', Rajoy believes.
“This country needs a PP government as its voters have elected, despite some people trying to form one out of the socialists, Podemos, United Left and others,” the acting president said.
In practice, although the PP won 123 seats out of 250 – not enough for a majority, and has since lost four due to regional factions divorcing from the party – the larger political groups need far fewer votes to win seats than the smaller ones, automatically tipping the balance in their favour and forcing the non-Establishment parties to work far harder to stand any chance at all of even making up an influential opposition.
“We should firstly respect the opinions and wishes of the majority, or the results of the polling stations, and secondly, unite political forces which share our views on fundamental issues – which means a coalition between the PSOE, PP and Ciudadanos, allowing us to consolidate our recovery and send out a message of stability within and outside Spain.
“There are three possible forms of government now: One with over 200 MPs; a second option, made up of the socialists, Podemos and United Left; and a third option, which is a re-election. And I believe the first of these is what is best for Spain,” Rajoy insisted.
His desire to form a mega-coalition including the socialists' 89 seats is a turn-up for the books after the bitter rivalry seen in the run-up to the elections, which saw Rajoy and PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez enter a televised slanging match that hit headlines worldwide.
Rajoy did not want to go into details about the programme in question, but admitted there was 'no other political option' because 'a left-wing government would not be a good thing and would generate uncertainty'.
“The PP has won the elections, and will not, under any circumstances, fail to form a government,” Rajoy said on air.
But he would not support the investing of any president who was not on the PP, because it 'seems frivolous' as 'since 1977, whoever has won the elections has been president of the government'.
And Rajoy does not believe his own position, at the head of the party and as president of Spain, is in any danger.
“Democracy is about respecting the wishes of the people – the PP has elected its candidate, and the party and its candidate won the elections,” Rajoy concluded.
Acting PP spokesman Rafael Hernando, when collecting his official MP certificate from Parliament on Saturday, called for 'common sense' from other political parties.
“Forcing the country into a second election would mean certain people having to admit they were incapable of negotiating,” Hernando stated.
He insisted that a three-way coalition of the PP, PSOE and Ciudadanos 'would be the most sensible and reasonable way forward'.
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