PSOE rules out abstaining to prevent Vox from entering the government of Castilla y León

The mayor of Valladolid does back this option

3 min
The leader of the PSOE, presiding over the meeting of the federal executive, the day after the elections in Castilla y León

MadridThe PSOE argues that voting for its candidates is a "guarantee" that Vox will not enter the institutions, but will not even consider facilitating a PP government to prevent it in Castilla y León. The abstention of the socialists is a formula that would make it possible for the PP candidate, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, to govern alone and not to be in Vox's hands. There are even voices within PSOE and within Castilla y León that openly bring up this option, such as the mayor of Valladolid and former spokesman of the PSOE executive, Óscar Puente, although the national party rules it out. "This scenario has been brought about by the PP leading citizens to interested elections in which it sought to govern alone at the risk of the far right entering government," the current spokesman, Felipe Sicilia, argued.

The press conference on Monday has been an avalanche of questions about this hypothesis. "All these questions have already been answered by the PP leaders, who have said that they have no objection to reaching agreements with Vox," said Sicilia. The spokesman has asserted that the Socialists will sit down to talk with Mañueco in the framework of the round of consultations for the investiture, but has insisted that the PSOE is not responsible for the arithmetic that the elections have left and that it "will not enable a government that has dates in court for corruption." The Salamanca PP is under investigation for the 2017 primaries that led Mañueco to the party's presidency.

"What does the PP say, has it asked us to abstain, is it rejecting Vox? Let them say it clearly," they stress from the PSOE leadership. In the Socialist Headquarters, they consider that if Mañueco does not want to depend on the far right it would be incongruent with the decision to call snap elections in Castilla y León. Sources in the socialist leadership do not clarify what their position would be in case this proposal arrives and neither do they want to enter into an assessment of what is most convenient for the PSOE. This year there will be elections in Andalusia and next year there will be elections in twelve other regions, coinciding with the local elections. Since he came to power, Pedro Sánchez has always tried to take advantage of the polarisation with Vox to mobilise the left and now understanding with the PP could be detrimental to his electoral interests.

Sicilia has claimed that in the meeting of the executive there have been no voices that have defended abstention, as Puente has done in a personal role. However, the Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, has not been categorical in ruling out this option in an interview on the programme Cafè d'idees on La 2 and Ràdio 4. She said that it is up to the PSOE of Castilla y León to make the decision, although she has made it clear that the intentions of the PP are to reach agreements with Vox. Some PP voices also defend this option: Galician president Alberto Núñez Feijóo said "we will see if the PSOE chooses to give stability".

Mañueco this morning has said that he wants to govern alone and has also shown misgivings with the hypothetical path opened to agree the investiture with the small parties –Cs, Unidas Podemos, Soria ¡Ya!, Unión del Pueblo Leonés and Por Ávila– because it would leave him in a situation of instability, as he has stated in an interview to Cadena Cope. But he does not rule anything out. On the other hand, at the PP Headquarters in Madrid they do not even want to hear about a coalition with the extreme right. "Coalition governments have not brought more stability and prosperity to Spain, but quite the opposite", said the secretary general of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, to Onda Cero.

The PP, "solely responsible" for the rise of Vox

The management of the rise of Vox has marked the hangover of the elections in Castilla y León and the socialists attribute it exclusively to the PP. The far right is growing "because the PP is getting weaker and weaker," said Sicilia. "The PP has copied the messages and proposals and has ended up becoming an appendage of Vox. Casado has made the PP a weak party and that is why the far right is growing," the PSOE spokesman continued. In the same line as its government partners in the State, Podemos has also rejected the PP-PSOE grand coalition. "It will never be the solution to the rise of the far right," said the party's co-spokesman Pablo Fernandez at a press conference, Mireia Esteve informs. The candidate also made some self-criticism, after having obtained only one seat.