Spain’s caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was voted back in to power by Congress at the second round of an investiture debate on Tuesday.
Thanks to this vote, Sanchez will form a left-wing coalition government. This is the first coalition government since Spain’s transition to democracy after the regime of Francisco Franco.
As expected, the leader of the Socialist Party (PSOE) won a simple majority of just two more “yes” than “no” votes. In the end, 167 deputies voted in favor (PSOE, Unidas Podemos, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), Más País, Compromís, Nueva Canarias, Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG) and Teruel Existe); 165 against (Popular Party (PP), Vox, Ciudadanos (Citizens), Together for Catalonia, Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), Navarra Suma, Coalición Canaria, Foro Asturias and the Regionalist Party of Catalonia (PRC)); and there were 18 abstentions: (Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and EH Bildu).
The ERC — Catalonia’s largest separatist party — promised to abstain in exchange for talks over the future of the region.
Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias, who leads the far-left Unidas Podemos, or United We Can Party, recently restated their intention to form the first coalition government in Spain’s recent history.