Pablo Casado contemplates two options to be able to govern in case the PP wins the next general elections, as pointed out by several private polls. In an interview in the Argentine newspaper The nation Published this Wednesday, the leader of the PP assures that he wants to govern alone, and the “optimal” would be to do so with an absolute majority, but if it is not possible – no survey shows that possibility – he would try two ways to reach the presidency of the Government. One of them would consist of following the model of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, that is, for Vox to support her investiture from outside without entering her Executive and “without any consideration”. And the other would go through offering a “great coalition to the PSOE,” explains the popular leader in the interview, “as Mariano Rajoy did in 2016,” he specifies. From Uruguay, the second stage of his tour of the Southern Cone, Casado has clarified afterwards that he sees the possibility of a pact with the Socialists as “very difficult”, which is why the option of seeking the support of the extreme right gains more force.
Casado knows that the pact with Vox scares away moderate sectors, and that is why he tries to present alternatives. Hence, he has put on the table the path of a “grand coalition” with the PSOE that links 2016, when the Socialists let Rajoy govern by abstaining from his inauguration, after a serious crisis that led to Sánchez’s resignation as secretary general. “We want to govern alone,” says the popular leader in The nation. “The optimal thing would be an absolute majority, which now does not grant us any poll, but if not, it is to have more seats than the left and the nationalists so that there is no alternative. And at that time, we can do as Mariano Rajoy did in 2016, in which he offered a great coalition to the Socialist Party or we can do as has been done recently in the Community of Madrid, in which Vox has supported the regional government , but without any consideration, since there was no alternative in front of it that would put the formation of another government at risk ”, he explains.
However, the small print of the grand coalition proposal that Casado is now making to the PSOE is tricky, because it does not refer to offering a joint government pact to Pedro Sánchez. To questions from EL PAÍS, an official PP spokesperson explained that Casado “in no case would offer Pedro Sánchez a vice presidency.” “What we say is that we would agree with a moderate PSOE like Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba or Javier Fernández.” That is, Casado conjectures that Sánchez would cease to be secretary general of the PSOE in case of losing the elections, and later a new moderate PSOE leader would agree with the PP. “With this PSOE, no”, they say in the PP. Casado has always rejected the option of a grand coalition with the Socialists, especially after the 2019 elections, which were repeated because the PSOE had no one to agree with.
Very unlikely option
In any case, the leader of the PP recognizes that it is a very unlikely option and that it is very difficult to agree with the Socialists. “This PSOE has nothing to do with that PSOE with which the PP agreed, such as Nicolás Redondo in the Basque Country or Javier Fernández in the inauguration of Mariano Rajoy. Unfortunately, with this PSOE and its allies the PP has very difficult to agree ”, he assured at a press conference in Uruguay after meeting with the president, Luis Lacalle.
Therefore, Casado recognizes that the most likely scenario for the PP to govern, if it wins the elections, is an agreement with Vox, only that the popular leader also theorizes that the extreme right would give him the investiture for free. “What we are very clear about is that as has happened in Madrid or in Galicia, the PP is going to apply its program, its principles, its values, without allowing itself to be conditioned by other formations that sometimes have an agenda that is not at all in the direction of what the Spanish need ”, he has defended from Uruguay. However, in Galicia the PP has an absolute majority, so it does not depend on Vox, a possibility that for the generals does not throw any survey. And in Madrid Vox has just approved the Budgets of Isabel Díaz Ayuso with an agreement that implies an audit of spending on the care of immigrant minors, while PP and Vox continue to negotiate the demand of the extreme right to repeal the LGTBI laws approved by the Government of Cristina Cifuentes.
What affects the most is what happens closer. To not miss anything, subscribe.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.