The Senate: the ‘set’ that will host new face-to-face between Sánchez and Feijóo in this election year

The political battle intensifies in this electoral year. Several calls await and the parties will take advantage of all possible scenarios to confront their projects. In this context, the Senatewhose usefulness is in question given the speed of parliamentary procedures for most of the legislative initiatives, will house several chapters of that battle.

It will be due to the new appearances of the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchezwhich are expected in this chamber of territorial representation throughout 2023. These parliamentary appointments, more common in Congress, began to take place after the arrival of the opposition leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo (without a seat in the Lower House), to the Senate. Therefore, more than a rendering of accounts, they are a face to face between Sánchez and Feijóo, or the “staging of bipartisanship”, as various political representatives of other parliamentary groups have cataloged.

Of the 265 representatives of the Upper House, only between PSOE (113) and PP (104) add 217 senators, who live together with representatives of 17 other political forces integrated into up to six different groups. In this way, since the arrival of Feijóo and the appearances of the President of the Government, no one doubts that the Senate has returned to the center of the political contest.

It should be noted that, recently, he also monopolized the media spotlight with the unprecedented decision of the Constitutional Court to prevent a vote in the Senate on a legislative reform that affected the renewal of the guarantee court itself. This unprecedented veto of the Constitutional Court to the capacity of the Senate deepened the wound about the functionality of this chamber of representation.

First face to face of the year

This Tuesday, the Senate will host the first duel of the year with the appearance of the President of the Executive before the extraordinary plenary session (January is a non-business month) to explain the new measures adopted to deal with the economic and social consequences caused by the war in Ukraine, validated this Tuesday in Congress, as well as the role of the administrations in this regard.

There is no doubt that this sixth face to face (the count includes the clashes in the government control sessions in which both leaders have coincided since May) It will be the first of many facing a long electoral campaign during this 2023 (the general elections will put the finishing touch at the end of the year).

Sánchez’s appearance in Congress last Tuesday was an appetizer of things to come. The President of the Government used this quote to oppose his model to that of the PP, a social response to the crisis in the face of the “failed neoliberal response to the financial crisis” of 2008 adopted by the Government of Mariano Rajoy. For her part, the PP spokesperson, Cuca Gamarra, attacked the Executive for the perverse application of the law of only yes is yes.

As for the appearance on January 31, these same arguments will be on the table. Even more so after this Friday the National Statistics Institute (INE) released favorable data on the Spanish economy, which includes a robust growth of 5.5% in 2022exceeding the forecasts of the Government itself and of many other organizations, and very much in spite of the bad omens of the right.

The PSOE spokesperson in the Senate, Eva Granadosadds in statements to this medium that they will insist on their strategy of point out the relationship between the PP and Vox. “It is an opportunity for the head of the opposition, who is a senator, to rule on this issue, since he is not very given to saying what he thinks and rather to hiding the content of his pacts with Vox,” he explains in relation to the anti-abortion plan of the extreme right in Castilla y León.

Pulse to bipartisanship

In this way, highlights the role of the Senate with the compromise amendment promoted by the socialists within the framework of the abortion law to shield this right against the threats of Vox. “With a legislative agenda so full of far-reaching reforms, the final processing of the laws in the second reading chamber, which is the Senate, allows them to be enriched and improved,” added Granados.

Regardless of this correction, the senator from Geroa Bai, koldo martinez, regrets that the activity in the Senate has more impact when Sánchez and Feijóo coincide. “It is a shame what the Senate has become despite what the Constitution says. It is not a chamber of territorial representation, but a second reading one and I would almost dare to say a second one because when things arrive here, everything is well written and well read,” he tells Public.

Even so, it advances that this Tuesday he will do as other times: “I will take the opportunity to say those things that are important in the face of Navarra”, qualifies this senator, a member of the Confederal Left in a criticism shared by CKD, the third most representative group in the Upper House. “The Senate should not be converted into a pre-campaign scenario between the bipartisan parties. It is not fair and it is not what should be expected of the supposed territorial chamber,” sources from the Republican party add.

The Senator from Más Madrid, Pablo Gómez Perpinya, welcomes these appearances by Sánchez, which “have a lot to do with the presence of Feijóo”, because “they reinforce the political space of the Autonomous Communities” and, as it is a chamber that is less mediatized, “the debates tend to have greater depth “. In any case, he will take advantage of this Tuesday’s appointment to focus the debate on the “progressive agenda, without hesitation”, and ask the PSOE “not to be entertained by the occurrences of the extreme right and help us, also in Madrid, to enable a change of government”, he exposes in statements to this medium.

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