Pedro Sánchez has clinched a second term as Spain’s prime minister after winning an ill-tempered investiture vote that was dominated by his decision to secure the support of Catalan separatists with a controversial amnesty.
The vote on Thursday came almost four months after an inconclusive snap election in July in which Sánchez’s governing Spanish Socialist Workers’ party (PSOE) was narrowly defeated by its conservative rivals in the People’s party (PP).
Sánchez won an absolute majority in the investiture vote, securing the support of 179 of Spain’s 350 MPs. But his victory has come at a high price and has depended on the backing of smaller regional parties, including Catalan and Basque nationalists.
Despite finishing first in July’s election, the PP proved unable to form a government with the support of the far-right Vox party and other smaller groupings.
Sánchez and his partners in the leftwing Sumar alliance, however, managed to cobble together the necessary backing for their coalition by acceding to the demands of the two main Catalan pro-independence parties to grant an amnesty to those involved in the failed push for regional independence six years ago.