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Spanish Parliament to vote on Thursday on Sanchez coalition

MADRID (AFP) – The Spanish Parliament will vote on Thursday to confirm the new government of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who is assured of a majority after securing the support of Catalan separatists.

Parliamentary debate will begin today at 1100 GMT with a vote of confidence expected on Thursday, said Lower House president Francina Armengol.

In exchange for the votes of the Catalan separatist parties, Sanchez agreed to a controversial amnesty for those involved in a failed 2017 secession attempt.

With the support of the far left, with whom he has ruled for the past three years, as well as parties representing Basques, Catalans and the Canary Islands, Sanchez can expect to receive 179 votes, with 176 needed for a majority.

Sanchez’s Socialists came second in legislative elections on July 23 but Alberto Nunez Feijoo, head of the Popular Party, which came first, was unable to cobble together a working majority in parliament, leaving the door open to Sanchez to try.

Last Thursday he secured the support of seven deputies from the movement of Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont.

The amnesty plan has severely split Spanish public opinion, with hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating against it on Sunday across the country.