Alberto Núñez Feijóo has admitted he has little chance of becoming Spanish premier in the immediate future.
The leader of the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) told his followers that a negative vote on his bid in parliament would be accepted “with absolute dignity”.
“Maybe this investiture process will not make me premier,” said Feijóo at a PP event on August 31. “Maybe defending equality amongst all Spaniards will leave us without the premiership.”
Feijóo said his government would have brought “equality” and “dignity back to the institutions”.
He said a reformed government under acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez would be “weak”.
Resisting the centre-right “is not governing.”
Referring to the Spanish Socialist party (PSOE) leader, Feijóo said: “The important thing in politics is not to become premier after losing.
“What is important is to serve your country, wherever it may be, after winning.”
He also targeted the PSOE, claiming it “only wants to deal with those who want to destroy the country… They are no longer a party of the State.”
Isabel Rodríguez, the speaker of the acting government, responded saying that “it is good” that Feijóo forecasts his own defeat “with dignity”.
Feijóo met with Sánchez in Congress, where he offered to govern for only two years in exchange for the PSOE’s support. The PP leader had also offer Sánchez key input on important legislation.
The PSOE rejected the proposal. They claimed Feijóo was “begging” Sánchez for the investiture. One PP speaker called the move “hypocritical”.
Feijóo also faced criticism from high-level figures on his own turf. PP member Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the popular president of the Madrid region, was among those denouncing him.
Ayuso said in a speech attended by Feijóo that the PP was trying to appeal “in an inexperienced way” to the PSOE. She said the Sánchez-led group is “a party whose principles vanished with some supposed Socialist values that no longer exist”.
She claimed that the PSOE was “not in favour [of], but against Spain” and told Feijóo that “giving up is not an option”.
The official PP speaker Borja Sémper insisted Feijóo’s mission wass “difficult, not impossible”.
The PP leader still has 25 days to garner enough support for a majority in Congress.