Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez secured a vote of confidence in parliament on Thursday, keeping him at the helm of the government for a new four-year term. This development deals a decisive blow to parties opposed to Morocco’s interests, especially the separatist Polisario Front. The latter had wagered on a change in Spain’s leadership that could lead to Madrid reconsidering its recognition of the Moroccan nature of Moroccan Sahara. The ongoing growth and convergence between Madrid and Rabat receive a strong boost.
Sánchez, the socialist prime minister, garnered support from 179 deputies, an absolute majority, after winning the seven votes from the “Together for Catalonia” party led by Carles Puigdemont, a separatist. This victory, coupled with the amnesty granted to Catalan separatists, has stirred divisions in the country.
Sánchez‘s triumph in the vote comes after nearly four months of political stagnation following the legislative elections on July 23. This victory provides him with the opportunity to form a new government in the coming days with his leftist ally, the Súmate party.
Securing Sánchez‘s continued leadership dashes hopes Polisario had pinned on his departure. Recent speculations suggested that an extreme right-wing victory in Spain might lead to a reconsideration of Madrid’s clear stance on Moroccan Sahara.
Presiding over Madrid’s role in the European Union is expected to give a greater momentum to the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Moroccan Sahara, a position supported by Spain. This is especially true under the new term of the socialist Sánchez as head of the government. Morocco has set the stage for diplomatic moves within the alliance to remove some countries from the cycle of hesitation, as the list of supporters for the autonomy proposal in Moroccan Sahara under the sovereignty of the Kingdom continues to grow.
Efforts by anti-Rabat factions to disrupt the solid relations between Madrid and Morocco, which is considered a reliable partner for the European Union at all levels, have failed. This is due to a diplomatic approach that has been calm and steadfast, with its foundations laid by the Moroccan King Mohammed VI.
Cooperation between Morocco and Spain encompasses various areas, including counterterrorism and the issue of irregular migration. Moroccan efforts and security coordination between the two countries have resulted in a 25% reduction in the flow of migrants to Spain in 2022, according to Spanish official figures.
Spain’s recognition of the Moroccan nature of Moroccan Sahara last year gave a strong impetus to relations between the two countries amid a convergence of views. In February of this year, the two nations signed about 20 agreements spanning multiple sectors during Sánchez‘s historic visit to Rabat.
At that time, the Spanish Prime Minister described the deepening ties between his country and Morocco as “profound and close.” He noted that they had entered a new phase with Madrid’s support for the autonomy project under Moroccan sovereignty as the sole and logical solution to the fabricated conflict.
A conflict has been ongoing for decades between Morocco and the Polisario Front, a separatist group supported by Algeria, over the Moroccan Sahara. Rabat has proposed autonomy under its sovereignty as a realistic and logical solution, which has garnered almost unanimous international support given its feasibility.