By Eddy Montilla.
Spain’s fledgling democracy came after the end of General Franco’s dictatorial regime in 1975, something that was only possible after his death. I have always commended Spain for its strong democracy and I have considered this country as a model to be emulated by Latin American countries, places where, overt or covert, dictators have plunged the region for decades. Nevertheless, after the way the socialist political leader Pedro Sánchez played his own game with his own questionable rules in order to become the President of the Government of Spain by ousting Mariano Rajoy through a no-confidence motion that he brought against him, now I obviously doubt that the Socialist Party’s leader can be a good political mentor not only for Latin America’s politicians, but for other people in his own country too.
If Pedro Sánchez’s objective, as an opposition leader, was to “clean the house” and remove Rajoy over a massive corruption scandal, known as Gürtel corruption case, once the goal had been achieved, the wise decision was to call an early presidential election as soon as possible, since, figuratively expressed, if your enemies are dead already, It’s pointless to keep shooting at them. When something of dire consequences throw a country into a turmoil, the new government formed after the chaos should always be transitory since its sole reason for being is the avoidance of greater political and economic troubles. To see out the remaining two years of the parliamentary terms instead of calling elections is tantamount to admitting that his real intentions were to usurp the power that Mariano Rajoy won two times in democratic presidential elections. The no-confidence motion can be easily seen as a plan to become the President of Government, which shows that some politicians and parties were ready to claw and scratch as many people think. If fingernails grow at an average rate of 0.01 millimeter per day, what will happen with those Spanish politicians and political parties after those two years, considering what they did in just a couple of days? I don´t even want to think about that. Let´s wait and see.
The former President, Mariano Rajoy, was never a great statesman, in my opinion. Rather than that, he was some kind of spring that was strong enough to resist against political enemies and problems until favourable winds started to blow, and he did so during the 2008 financial crisis, which was, by the way, the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of 1929. It is true: Spain’s economic recovery has been extremely painful and slowly, buy we cannot deny that thanks to some Rajoy’s measures, that country did not become a ship tossing on a wild sea, something that helped him win two consecutive presidential terms. If the current President, Pedro Sánchez, had decided to have the presidential election once again, he would probably have received Spanish people’s support (something that until now he has never received) by showing that his real intentions are not (were not?) to seize power at all costs, but “to work for the good of the people” as politicians usually say. His attitude and desire of being in power until 2020 despite the fact that he has never won an election, makes Rajoy look now as a political genius.
Before retiring from politics, former president Mariano Rajoy wished Pedro Sánchez good luck. Nevertheless, history is not made with luck, but facts and facts say that to remain in power in the way Mr. Sánchez did is legally right, but morally wrong. So, no matter how well he rules the country in these two years, he will be remembered by many as an usurper who could not fight and win the battle for the presidency where greatest politicians do: on the field of the presidential election.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.
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Photo: By courtesy of Calvin Smith under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr, 7-21-2018).