“I have come here to win and rule. If not, I would not have come. We will try to the last breath.” The phrase was pronounced by Alberto Núñez Feijóo in April 2022, when he assumed the leadership of the PP after the direct ouster of Pablo Casado. “It’s not about winning, it’s about winning to do things, change things that don’t work well,” he said in Valencia, in January 2023, when he launched his party into a year in which almost all the power of the State was going to be distributed. “I ask from now on a clear, incontestable, forceful majority to start a new course,” he said on May 29, after the municipal and regional elections that the PP won. This July 23, Feijóo has not achieved all of his objectives.
PP charges feed the conspiracy over the incident on the AVE and blame the Government: “After the Post Office, now this”
Two days ago Feijóo caressed a Moncloa that now seems to vanish. In the 23J elections, the PP candidate has achieved part of his objective, to win votes and seats. But not the fundamental one: a sufficient majority to govern. Neither alone, as he has insisted on saying that he wanted to do, nor in coalition with Vox.
“The Spanish have spoken”, Feijóo assured in a speech from the balcony of the national headquarters, on Génova street in Madrid. “As a candidate with the most support, with all humility but also with all determination, I take charge of initiating the dialogue to negotiate a government in accordance with the will of the majority expressed at the polls,” he added.
“I formally ask that no one be tempted to blockade Spain again,” said Feijóo, who had to see how party militants interrupted his speech twice with shouts “Ayuso, Ayuso! “I think it is a legitimate, democratic and essential request”, he added.
Feijóo has labeled as an “anomaly” the “that in Spain the most voted party could not govern.” “The only alternative is the blockade, which in no way benefits international prestige, investment, and the fact that the fourth largest economy in the euro is the one with more votes and seats than the leader of the opposition.”
“I expressly ask the PSOE, and the rest of the forces, not to block the Government of Spain once again.” “All the most voted candidates have governed. There is no president who has governed after losing the elections. It’s up to me to try. We are the alternative option and that is what I will do ”, he has settled.
A fiasco with unforeseen consequences
The PP will hold a meeting of its National Board of Directors this Monday, the highest body between congresses and which will analyze in depth the result of this Sunday. From there will come the strategy to follow in the coming weeks, but sources from the leadership of the PP are clear: “We are going to try the investiture by all means.”
All routes do not rule out anything. Neither a grand coalition with the PSOE, nor an abstention also from the Socialists that would allow him to govern, even if alone and with 136 deputies, 40 of the majority. A situation that in Genoa they recognize is very difficult to manage. “It is not the easiest thing,” they admit, but they believe that there is “room to the right and left” to agree on laws and budgets during the legislature.
The distance that separates Feijóo from the absolute majority is not small, and those whom he could try to ask for their support have said during the campaign that they will not add up with the extreme right. Also Santiago Abascal, who this Sunday has settled the debate: “Opposition or electoral repetition.”
They have also attacked Vox in the street of Genoa already at dawn on Monday. Some seats that have been lost by a handful of votes, they say in the leadership of the PP, is the fault of Vox. This has been the case of Lleida and Girona, for example.
The failure of the PP leader comes after elections in which his party has won again in general elections since June 2016. In that first electoral repetition in history, Mariano Rajoy won 137 deputies. Seven years later, his Galician heir has obtained one less, 136 (99.23% scrutinized). But Rajoy got almost 2.5 million more votes than the second, the PSOE. Feijóo, this Sunday, has obtained some 310,000 more votes.
The situation is perhaps more similar to that of 1996 in terms of the distance between PP and PSOE. But then José María Aznar obtained 154 deputies, about twenty of the majority to govern. Felipe González, after 14 years at Moncloa, took a step back. But Pedro Sánchez is not willing to do it. This has been confirmed by the President of the Government at the headquarters on Calle Ferraz in Madrid.
The PP does not rule out the electoral repetition either. With Feijóo as a candidate? Their answer is yes, without a doubt.
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