Chaos as Socialists lose first vote
12 May 2004
MADRID – The new Socialist government lost its first vote Wednesday over a change to a controversial law about religion and education.
Amid chaotic scenes, members of the Senate or upper house voted against a PSOE motion to freeze the so-called Law of Quality which links the Catholic Church to state education.
The Socialists are against this law which was introduced by the previous conservative government of the Popular Party (PP).
The opposition PP introduced a motion to the Senate against the government’s proposal not to introduce this new law.
Part of the reason the government lost was through confusion among many new senators.
Eighty-eight were in favour, 58 against and 52 abstained. Many did not appear to know how to vote.
Socialist spokesman Enrique Curiel claimed they lost through the inexperience of some senators.
The president of the Senate, Socialist Javier Rojo, accepted another vote should be held.
The second time a total of 235 voted, with 119 in favour, 115 against and one abstention.
The PP won but commentators said it was more symbolic than practical. The conservatives need the support of other groups before they can do more than oppose government policy.
But the Socialist group could not hide its concern after losing the vote due, primarily, to the absence of many of its own senators.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news