Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will ask Spain’s parliament, to vote in favour of a two-week extension to the state of alarm today.
It has been in place since March 14, when confinement measures were first imposed.
Since then, the extraordinary measure has been extended three times, and is currently set to come to an end this Saturday May 9.
Sánchez cannot extend the state of alarm without MP’s approval, the coalition government led by his Socialist PSOE party and junior partner Unidas Podemos do not have a working majority.
This means he needs votes from other parties to pass legislation. But it is not clear whether the prime minister will have enough votes today to secure the approval of the extension.
Negotiations have been taking place to garner support for the initiative, which will require a simple majority of more yes than no votes.
Yesterday, the far-right Vox and the Catalan separatist parties Together for Catalonia (JxCat), Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) made it clear that they were planning to vote against.
If the main opposition Popular Party (PP) decides to join them, there will be 164 “no” votes in the 350-strong chamber, although so far the conservatives have signaled that they might abstain.
The 10 MPs for the center-right Ciudadanos have yet to say which way they will vote, but support seems possible. And the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) seems to favour an abstention.
If Sánchez fails to secure approval, almost all the measures the government has introduced to address the coronavirus crisis would be immediately be dissolved.
According to several legal experts, it must be assumed that all orders decreed under the state of alarm on March 14, as well as regulations set out in later decrees which are only valid under the exceptional measure, will come to an end if the state of alarm is not extended.
That means the emergency measures to combat the coronavirus crisis will expire on May 9th if an extension is not secured.
Transportation Minister José Luis Ábalos said on Monday the government would not have a legal framework to establish order. Not supporting the extension would end in chaos he warned.