Pedro Sánchez: The Man Without Options

Pedro Sánchez addresses a conference of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party January 30
Pedro Sánchez addresses a conference of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party January 30 (PSOE)

The polls for this weekend’s elections in Spain have been pretty consistent. The results are likely to repeat the electoral stalemate of the last election, in December. The conservative People’s Party will be the largest, but it, and the center-right Ciudadanos, will not win enough seats to form a government. The only difference this time is that the Unidos Podemos, a coalition of the anti-establishment Podemos party and the far-left Izquierda Unida, would replace the Socialists as the second largest party in parliament. According to one poll, the combined left could come close to an absolute majority.

All of this is a nightmare for Pedro Sánchez, the youthful Socialist Party leader. He looks set to face a number of options, all of them bad for him and his party.

Sánchez will be the leader of the third party and no longer the leader of the Spanish left. He will have the power to decide who governs, but neither of his coalition options would please what is left of his supporters. Read more “Pedro Sánchez: The Man Without Options”

Agile Sánchez Seen Putting Together Coalition in Spain

Spanish party leaders Pedro Sánchez and Albert Rivera speak in Madrid, February 4, 2016
Spanish party leaders Pedro Sánchez and Albert Rivera speak in Madrid, February 4, 2016 (PSOE)

If outgoing Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy was waiting for his Socialist Party rival to fail at forming a coalition government, he may have underestimated Pedro Sánchez’s agility.

The left-wing party leader was reported to be close to reaching a deal with the liberal Ciudadanos on Tuesday, which would be the first step toward finding a majority in parliament.

The Ciudadanos and the Socialists do not command a majority between them. Nor does Rajoy’s People’s Party, which went down from 187 to 123 seats in December’s election.

A right-wing pact between Rajoy’s conservatives and the forty members of the Ciudadanos would come close to the 176 seats needed for a majority. But it now seems more likely that Sánchez will succeed in getting the third- and fourth largest parties to support him instead. Read more “Agile Sánchez Seen Putting Together Coalition in Spain”

No Good Coalition Options for Spain’s Socialists

Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, answers questions from reporters in Madrid, January 22
Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, answers questions from reporters in Madrid, January 22 (PSOE)

King Felipe VI has asked Spanish Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez to form a government after the outgoing prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, rejected a mandate last month.

Rajoy’s People’s Party won the most seats in December’s election but lost its majority.

Sánchez’s Socialists, who last governed from 2004 to 2011, also lost seats and came in second.

They have rejected Rajoy’s proposal to form a grand coalition between the two mainstream parties — which would be unprecedented in Spain — and will try to put together a coalition on the left instead.

“From tomorrow on, we will speak to all the political forces,” Sánchez told reporters in Madrid. Read more “No Good Coalition Options for Spain’s Socialists”