Alberto Núñez Feijóo has offered to govern for only two years in exchange for support from Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
The leader of the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) has also offered to give the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) input on crucial pieces of legislation as a way of breaking the country’s post-election deadlock.
“I offer [Pedro Sánchez] an agreement for the governability of Spain”, said Feijóo after meeting Sánchez in Congress on August 30.
According to Feijóo, if Sánchez rejects this proposal “Spain will fall in the hands of the separatists”.
During a press conference, Feijóo reminded his opponent that the PP won the election. He evoked Spain’s “democratic custom” according to which the leader of the party with the most votes becomes Prime Minister.
The PP leader clarified that the 24-month period may be extended if both parties agree.
The PSOE, however, immediately rejected the proposal. Its speaker and acting Minister of Education, Pilar Alegría, said the leader of the PP is “begging” Sánchez to let him become PM.
She added that “Feijóo is not thinking about the country’s stability…He is thinking about how to save his skin.”
Other party leaders from the PSOE are calling Feijóo’s proposal “pathetic.”
The PP offer included possible Socialist input on welfare, health, economic recovery, and water management.
Feijóo has been criticised by both regional Nationalist and Progressive parties. They claim the PP is moving further to the right. The Basque Nationalist Party declined to support Feijóo for this reason.
When asked about talking with the leaders of other parties, Feijóo confirmed he will meet with Conservative Vox President Santiago Abascal.
“I am not here as President of the Popular Party. I am here as the King’s candidate for the premiership,” he added.
The PP is still four MPs short of securing an absolute majority. As of today, Feijóo can count on the support of Vox and the regional parties of the Canary Islands and Navarre.
Congress will hold Feijóo’s investiture debate in the last week of September. He has a first shot at securing the premiership but needs votes from 176 MPs. If he fails, a second vote would make him Prime Minister with just a simple majority.
If he fails both rounds, Sánchez will have a shot at becoming PM.