Spain’s Conservative party Vox has offered parliamentary support to the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) without requiring the inclusion of its ministers in any new government.
The future of Spain could not be in the hands of “its enemies” – the separatists and national regionalists – the party said in a statement on August 6.
Vox said its 33 MPs would facilitate a “constitutional majority” in order to ensure the governability of Spain without the “danger” posed by the parties of Catalonia and the Basque Country.
The potential support of exiled Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia’s Esquerra Republicana (ERC), the ETA-linked party EH Bildu and the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) for a government led by acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez amounted to “a grave threat of the constitutional order”, Vox said.
The party warned of a potential “self-determination” referendum in Catalonia if Sánchez were to govern with the separatists’ backing. It also recalled the Socialist Prime Minister’s pardoning of the Catalan separatists after the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced them for sedition and embezzlement.
The Vox party of Santiago Abascal insisted its position is “prudent and sensible, despite those who eagerly demonise Vox and its three million voters who have the right for political representation”. Vox cited the PP and its distancing from the Conservative party during and after the election campaign.
With its statement, the Vox leadership has given up its hopes of becoming part of an Alberto Núñez Feijóo-led PP national government. Feijóo welcomed Vox’s position as “a step forward” for “constitutionalist forces” in Spain.
Feijóo added that he intends to govern alone. “It is necessary to have one party for one government,” he said. “Spain does not need 24 parties governing … that is the opposite of governability.”
Patxi López, the congressional speaker of the Socialist Party, responded: “Feijóo and the PP care very little about what they sign and the price they would pay as long as they have power, and stay in power.
“We all have to pay the price because it is our rights and freedoms that will diminish.”
Vox released its statement two days after it signed a coalition agreement with the PP to govern the Autonomous Community of Aragón, in north-eastern Spain. This would be Vox’s fifth pact to join a PP-led regional government.
Abascal said during the last month’s election campaign that Vox would try to block a government of “national destruction”.
While Feijóo has expressed optimism regarding his intention to govern, Vox’s statement, in itself, does not change Spain’s political landscape. Vox was expected to back a PP government of some description.
Left- and right-wing blocs are tied for seats in the Spanish Congress.