Tuesday, 26 September 2023
WorldLooking for votes even "under the stones"

Looking for votes even “under the stones”

Many of the positions of the PP consulted by The HuffPost during these summer weeks they agreed on the same thing: “Emotionally, we continue on election night.” That Sunday, July 23, in which Alberto Núñez Feijóo went out on the balcony of Genoa after winning the general elections but without being given the numbers to govern. A parliamentary reality that left the party in a state of shock, without really understanding how it was possible that all his calculations had failed. A state that began to change on Sunday when its leader, for the first time, hinted that his role will be to lead the opposition.

“It is better to lose an investiture, and that Spain does not lose, than to lose the dignity of the Spanish,” Feijóo said at the beginning of the political course, before barons and high officials. As this newspaper advanced, the vast majority of the PP supports his decision to present himself for the investiture, although he does not have the necessary support guaranteed. “For responsibility”, they have not stopped repeating. “To explain our project as the winning force that we are.” Although, internally, more realism was demanded when his spokespersons did not stop repeating publicly that there were options to govern when in private, once the microphones were turned off, the pessimism was enormous.

Now, with Feijóo’s declaration in Galicia, that numerical realism is imposed in the face of the round of contacts that the PP is going to begin. “If something has become clear in recent years, it is that anything can happen in politics. But today, the option for us to govern after the investiture is nil. Virtually nil”, according to the summary of a regional leader, shared by almost everyone in the party. “We are four deputies from the absolute majority”, they maintain in Genoa. But nothing seems to be moving on the political board in the coming weeks.

The president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo.Agostime/Europa Press via Getty Images

Feijóo has a month to try. Namely, the investiture debate will be held on September 26 and 27, so that a hypothetical electoral repetition does not coincide with the Christmas holidays. The Galician pretends to talk to everyone except Bildu. Although in this sense he also wanted to reassure, both in public and later at a meal with his barons and trusted positions: “Speak yes, talk too, but blackmail no.” He was referring to his decision to include Junts in that negotiation, which is demanding amnesty and a determination referendum. “It is obvious that we would never accept that,” settle management sources.

It will be necessary to verify how this contact is formalized, if it occurs. Alejandro Fernández, the leader of the PP of Catalonia, has been the clearest in rejecting this dialogue. But the truth is that he also bothers other sectors of the formation even though the barons have not protested publicly. “Our voters would not understand a photo with Junts, the smiles, the handshakes… Puigdemont carried out a coup, put Spain in a limit situation and is outside the Constitution”, in the words of a senior official of the structure Madrid.

Be that as it may, Genoa is preparing for these negotiations, keeping an ever smaller window of opportunity for it to come to fruition. The first summoned is Pedro Sánchez, the acting president. And although there will be a meeting between the two, waiting for the cabinets to agree, the outcome is more than clear: there is no room for understanding. A great coalition, with the Galician as president, is a chimera that is recognized by both parties.

With the socialist path ruled out, the option most desired by the PP is that of the PNV. In his political circles, the cover of El Correo did not stop being forwarded on Sunday in which José Alberto Pradera, former deputy general of the PNV, declared: “The PNV must abstain from the investiture of Feijóo because Vox is not in the equation.” In other words, those of Santiago Abascal have already publicly stated that they would refuse to enter Feijóo’s cabinet. Popular sources also suggest that Íñigo Urkullu would be of the same opinion.

aitor esteban

Aitor EstebanEurope Press

“No” is in any case the official response of the PNV, verbalized by its official spokespersons. They will sit with Feijóo but as a courtesy gesture, nothing more. But you have to look for votes “even under the stones”, as they also recognize in the socialist ranks. “Discretion” is the slogan in Moncloa, as this newspaper also published. But in the PSOE they remain confident that the gesture of amnesty -it remains to be seen how it is articulated- will be enough and Junts will park self-determination. “While Feijóo fails, we have to establish a secure negotiation framework, without leaks, to move forward,” in the opinion of a deputy from the Sánchez bench.

Indeed, the acting president wants to take advantage of these weeks to advance his investiture, in parallel to Feijóo’s round of contacts. And if the independentistas ask for the impossible? “Electoral repetitions are carried by the devil. You have to talk a lot, discreetly, and see how far we can go without going overboard and causing an earthquake. I think that all the actors are aware that we cannot miss this opportunity. Before the elections, practically no one predicted that Sánchez could govern ”, according to the sources consulted on the socialist side. Sumar shares the analysis.

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