Pedro Sánchez gets a first block of 178 deputies and the right is broken. This is the main headline of what happened this morning in the Congress of Deputies. The Balearic deputy Francina Armengol has managed to be elected president of the Congress in the first vote, surpassing the absolute majority. Yesterday at nine o'clock at night, things, in Madrid, in Barcelona and in Waterloo, were still very far from that result. The candidate of the Popular Party, Cuca Gamarra, has only garnered 139 votes, her party's 137, plus a vote from the Unión del Pueblo Navarro and a pious contribution from the Canary Islands Coalition, in a tactical withdrawal after having proposed another majority to Sánchez, in collaboration with the Basque Nationalist Party.
Vox has voted for itself because this morning there was a fiber break in the Spanish right. Upon learning of the PSOE agreement with Junts, the PP leadership has informed the far-right party that it was not giving it a position on the Board. The block of 171 seats was breaking. It is a decision that will have consequences. Although the official discourse of the popular continues to be the same, with this gesture, Núñez Feijóo politically renounces attempting the investiture, paying attention to the leaders of the PP who from day one advised him against taking that step, so as not to appear as the great defeated of the summer of 23. By breaking with Vox, Núñez Feijóo has accepted today that he is the political loser of the elections of July 23, although he leads the formation with the most votes. [The PP will maintain in the next few days that it has the right to seek the investiture because it is the party with the most votes in the elections and will argue in its favor the support it has had today from the Canary Coalition].
And now that? Now it is up to the King to listen to the president of Congress and the leaders of all the parties and then formulate an order. Pedro Sánchez is the one who is closest to the numbers necessary for the investiture today. That he is close, he does not mean that he has them. Today's vote must not be confused with the investiture vote, as Carles Puigdemont has already been in charge of reminding us this morning from Waterloo. Today only the Table of Congress has been elected. But we all know that today's vote has meaning that goes beyond the formal constitution of a parliamentary chamber.
Today a path has been outlined, which is that of the reintegration of all the Catalan independence movement into the dynamics of Spanish politics, prior to an agreement referred primarily to the promotion and institutional recognition of the Catalan language in the Spanish Parliament and in the Parliament European. That is what has happened. The formation headed by Carles Puigdemont, the dismissed president of the Generalitat who crossed the border on October 30, 2017 before he was arrested by the Police, is no longer on the margins of the Spanish political system. At this time there is no relevant political group in Spain camped on the margins. This is a relevant fact in the politics of this country. During long periods of its history, in Spain there have always been people outlawed, clandestine and camped on the margins.
A new political stage opens. We do not know what its duration and route will be, but today we take a curve that leaves the events of October 2017 a little further behind. Today perhaps a new stage in the configuration of the Spanish right is also opening. Perhaps in Feijóo's agenda, today very circumspect, very focused on himself, hardly looking up from his seat, there has been a change: he has de facto renounced the investiture, to fight Vox in a repetition of the elections in the Murcia region.
Final note: Has the Basque-Canary Islands consortium that we have been talking about these days been broken up, insistently? The Basque Nationalist Party has voted for the candidates of the left without obtaining a seat on the Table, while the Canary Islands Coalition closed its sails, voting together with the PP –its local ally in the Canary Islands-, instead of abstaining. Let's not lose sight of the convoluted Canarian politics in the coming months. PNV and CC have each acted in accordance with their interests, since Sánchez has managed to close an agreement with the entire Catalan independence bloc. Parliamentary arithmetic is what it is, the consortium exists and we will see it again in the difficult investiture debate. Next station: investiture.