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Pedro Sanchez sworn in as new Spanish PM despite election scandal

NewsPedro Sanchez sworn in as new Spanish PM despite election scandal

Pedro Sánchez has successfully garnered support from a majority of lawmakers in Spain’s parliament, putting an end to four months of political uncertainty in Madrid.

The 51-year-old premier secured victory in a vote held in Spain’s 350-seat parliament, receiving affirmative votes from left-wing and separatist groups.

A total of 179 lawmakers supported Sánchez, with all seven members of the Catalan separatist Junts party, holding crucial sway, voting in favour.

Additionally, the lone representative of the Canarian Coalition also supported him.

On the opposing side, the 171 lawmakers from the centre-right Popular Party and the far-right Vox group, along with the conservative Navarrese People’s Union, voted against the socialist candidate.

This parliamentary win concludes a period of political upheaval initiated in May when Sánchez called for snap elections following significant losses in regional and local polls. Despite a divisive campaign, voters delivered a hung parliament, prompting Sánchez to engage in negotiations with separatist parties to secure their support.

The most intricate negotiation was with the Junts party, led by former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, currently in self-imposed exile in Belgium. Puigdemont demanded amnesty for those involved in the Catalan independence movement, leading Sánchez’s party to file a bill for such amnesty, sparking widespread protests.

During the contentious debate preceding the vote, Popular Party leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo accused Sánchez of political corruption, asserting that deals made were against the general interest and solely motivated by personal gain. Feijóo warned that the proposed amnesty could rekindle the Catalan independence movement, jeopardising Spain’s unity.

Sánchez defended the legislative proposal as a means to foster national unity through dialogue and forgiveness, positioning his government as a counterforce against right-wing elements.

The premier plans to form a minority government with the far-left Sumar coalition, aiming for a full four-year term.

Sánchez is set to be sworn in by Spain’s King Felipe VI, with the weekend dedicated to assembling his Cabinet, marking Spain’s second coalition government since the 1930s. Despite the ideological differences among supporters, Sánchez remains determined to navigate the challenges and pass major legislation during his tenure.

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