Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez faces a no-confidence motion in parliament brought by the right-wing populist Vox party, as the government grapples with a severe second wave of coronavirus infections.
Sanchez is expected to win the vote, which is due to take place on Thursday, but tough exchanges are expected between the government and opposition.
Vox accuses the government of imposing a “Bolivarian communism,” a reference to a 19th-century Venezuelan general who led socialist independence movements.
Vox also called on the government to justify its “criminal” management of the coronavirus outbreak.
Spain was among the countries worst affected by the pandemic in Europe, with thousands of infections, and a series of deaths in homes for the elderly.
Vox party chair Santiago Abascal will stand as a counter-candidate during the vote.
The motion presents a dilemma to PP, the country’s largest opposition party. Vox was founded in 2013 by former PP members. If PP lawmakers abstain, they could lose centrist supporters. However, if they oppose the no-confidence motion, they could lose further lawmakers to PP.
Vox holds similar positions to many other right-wing populist parties in Europe.