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Cablegate: Investiture Schedule for Spain's New Socialist

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS MADRID 001200

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL SP
SUBJECT: INVESTITURE SCHEDULE FOR SPAIN'S NEW SOCIALIST
GOVERNMENT

REF: A. MADRID 1072

B. MADRID 900

1. Summary. Spain's Congress of Deputies is slated to begin
the investiture sessions to install the new Socialist
government on April 15. Depending on whether the Socialist
leader, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, receives an absolute
majority or not on the first vote, he could be sworn in as
President of the Government as early as April 17. Zapatero's
government likely will be sworn in and functioning on April
19, and he is expected to hold his first cabinet meeting a
day or two thereafter. The formal opening session of the new
Congress, presided over by the King, is then expected to take
place on April 22. End summary.

2. The Congress of Deputies is scheduled to begin the
investiture sessions to install the new President of the
Government on April 15. The sessions will include statements
from all parliamentary groups, with speeches slated to
continue into April 16. At the conclusion of the group
speeches on April 16, the Congress will vote on the proposed
candidate, Socialist Party leader Jose Luis Rodriguez
Zapatero. If his candidacy wins with an absolute majority,
Zapatero should be sworn in as President of the Government in
front of the King on Saturday, April 17. At that time, he
would officially inform the King of the members of his
Cabinet.

3. If Zapatero does not receive an absolute majority on the
April 16 vote, a second voting session would be held on April
18. For the second round of voting, Zapatero would only need
a simple majority to be invested. His swearing in before the
King would then be held late on April 18 or on Monday, April
19.

4. In either voting scenario, the King is expected to convene
the Solemn Opening Session of the new Legislature on April
22, at which point the new Socialist majority will begin to
govern. Between the swearing-in ceremony and the Solemn
Opening Session of Congress, Zapatero's ministers will have
their names published in the Official State Bulletin, swear
allegiance to the Constitution, and take possession of their
Ministries on April 19.

5. The Socialist Party's new Parliamentary spokesman, Alfredo
Perez Rubalcaba, stated yesterday that he believed Zapatero
would receive an absolute majority on the first round of
voting. Although the Socialists only have firm commitments
from the United Left party and the Aragon regional party,
Rubalcaba expected to also receive first-round support from
the ERC (leftist Catalan nationalists), the Canaries
Coalition and the BNG (Galician nationalists). This would
give the Socialists more than the 176 votes required for an
absolute majority.
MANZANARES

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