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This will be the sixth motion of no confidence in democracy, the first with an independent candidate

It will start with Abascal and with the candidate's speech, who have unlimited time, and to which the Government can reply.

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This will be the sixth motion of no confidence in democracy, the first with an independent candidate

It will start with Abascal and with the candidate's speech, who have unlimited time, and to which the Government can reply


The Plenary Hall of Congress will host this Tuesday, March 21, the debate on the motion of censure signed by the 52 Vox deputies who present the veteran economist Ramón Tamames as a candidate for the Presidency of the Government.

This is the sixth motion of no confidence since the 1978 Constitution, the second that Vox presents this legislature and the first in history that is headed by an independent candidate, with no organic link to the party that proposes him. Of course, Ramón Tamames, 89, is a candidate with a long political career as he was leader of the PCE in the Transition, deputy mayor of Madrid with the socialist Enrique Tierno Galván, founder of Izquierda Unida and later a militant of the CDS of Adolfo Suárez.

As convened by the president of Congress, the socialist Meritxell Batet, the debate will start at nine in the morning on Tuesday with the intervention of Abascal to present his candidate and then Ramón Tamames himself, from the seats of Vox so as not to have to climb the stairs of the rostrum, he will defend his program. Both have unlimited time for their speech.

The Government may reply to one or the other, or to both, which has the option of requesting the floor at any time during the session. It is assumed that President Pedro Sánchez will intervene, who already did so in the 2020 Vox motion and who has said he takes Tamames's very seriously, but other members of the Executive could also join. Podemos proposed that they be the ministers, two of them the top leaders of the purple party, but Moncloa indicated that things were going to be coordinated.

After the debate between the promoters of the motion of censure and the Government, there will be a pause in plenary and then it will be the turn of the parliamentary groups, from lowest to highest representation, starting with the Mixed Group and, among the parties in this formation, the least voted, which is Teruel Existe. Each parliamentary group will have a first turn of 30 minutes and another 10 for the reply.

The ERC spokesman, Gabriel Rufián, failed in his attempt to promote a plant to Tamames and, in principle, all the groups intend to speak. Another thing is that they use up all the time they have.

In accordance with parliamentary usage, the candidate is the one who will respond to the different parties and it will be Tamames who sets the pace and decides how he will respond to the other groups, one by one or all of them at the end.

That Tuesday afternoon the session will be interrupted and the rest of the pending spokespersons will intervene the following day. In any case, the participation of the four large groups (Unidas Podemos, Vox, the PP and the PSOE) is calculated for Wednesday, March 22.

The principle that the Government may intervene at any time is maintained. In the 2020 motion of no confidence, the then vice president Pablo Iglesias intervened when Pablo Casado replied to Abascal, and it is possible that the coalition government repeats that scheme and allows the intervention of Yolanda Díaz, as head of the United Podemos poster. In addition, it is foreseeable that Pedro Sánchez himself will speak again in the end.

After the debate, the vote will be held, which will be public and by call, with each deputy standing up from the seat to express out loud the meaning of their vote.

To prosper, the motion of no confidence requires obtaining an absolute majority in Congress (176 votes), an objective that seems unattainable given the positions expressed by the groups in recent weeks. What is expected is that it will have fewer votes against than the one led by Santiago Abascal, since this time the PP has decided to abstain instead of voting No.

Thus, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, will be able to go to his international appointments next week boasting of having defeated another motion of no confidence against him. Specifically, he plans to attend Brussels (Belgium) to participate in a meeting of the Council of the European Union and travel to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) for the Ibero-American Summit.

Of the five motions of no confidence debated to date, all failed except the one headed by the now Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, and that of Tamames also points to defeat.

The first motion of no confidence in democracy took place in 1980, when the PSOE presented one against Adolfo Suárez headed by its leader at the time, Felipe González, who obtained the support of 152 deputies (socialists, communists, Andalusians and three representatives of the Mixed Group ), compared to the rejection of 166 and the abstention of another 21 -11 absences were registered in the session--. That is to say, the PSOE was left 24 votes away from getting the approval of the motion of censure.

The second came seven years later, in 1987, when Alianza Popular did the same against Felipe González. Then the candidate was Antonio Hernández Mancha, who was not a deputy as is now the case with Tamames, and garnered the favorable vote of 66 deputies (Popular Alliance and Valencian Union), while 195 voted against (PSOE, United Left and Basque nationalists) and 71 abstained (representatives of CDS and CiU, among others).

The third motion of censure was 20 years later and was presented by Pablo Iglesias (Podemos) against Mariano Rajoy, held in June 2017, it was also rejected by 170 votes against (PP, Ciudadanos, UPN, Foro Asturias and Coalición Canaria), 82 in favor (Unidos Podemos, ERC, Compromís and EH Bildu) and 97 abstentions (PSOE, PDeCAT, PNV and Nueva Canarias).

The fourth was the only one that has prospered, the one that allowed Sánchez to access La Moncloa in June 2018 by gathering 180 votes in favor (PSOE, Unidas Podemos, ERC, PDeCAT, PNV, Compromís, Bildu and Nueva Canarias) 169 against (PP, Ciudadanos, UPN and Foro Asturias) and one abstention, that of Coalición Canaria.

And the last motion of no confidence and the first of the legislature was promoted by Vox in the fall of 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and with Abascal as a candidate. It did not add any support, beyond its 52 deputies.

This new motion of censure by Vox was registered on February 27, but it did not give time for it to be admitted by the Congress Table until March 7. The text was sent to the Government and to the spokespersons of the parliamentary groups so that they were informed and a period of two days was opened for the presentation of possible alternative candidacies. As planned, no one took that step and, after completing that formality, the president of Congress was able to set a date for the debate.

Specifically, this sixth motion of censure of democracy will be debated 22 days after registration, within the deadlines set in the preceding motions and almost the same as the one that Abascal had as a candidate, which was substantiated 21 days after its presentation.

The fastest was the motion presented by Pedro Sánchez in May 2018, which took barely a week to reach plenary, and it is that on that occasion the PP chose to rush the date mistakenly convinced that, after approving the Government Budgets, PSOE censorship was destined to fail.

The PP of Mariano Rajoy and Ana Pastor took more time with the motion of no confidence by Pablo Iglesias, which was registered on May 19 and debated on June 13, almost a month later. The Podemos initiative had no chance of prospering, since not even the PSOE supported it, and the PP was in no hurry to debate it.