Spain will hold a repeat of national elections in June following the failure of a last-ditch effort by King Felipe VI to prod bickering Spanish politicians to form a new government. The King chose not to ask any candidates he interviewed this week to try to form a government and break a stalemate that has left Spain with a caretaker government in the wake of inconclusive elections in December.
Spain's parliament held its first session Wednesday, with lawmakers from four main parties taking their seats at a time of political turmoil. Lawmakers picked a Socialist, Patxi Lopez, a former head of the regional government of the northern Basque Country, as parliamentary speaker, in the first pact between rival parties still engaged in talks to form a government since last month's inconclusive election.
A fiercely secessionist leader was elected president of the wealthy region of Catalonia thanks to a last-minute show of unity, giving fresh impetus to attempts to break away from Spain after months of infighting. The appointment of Carles Puigdemont, just hours before a deadline which would have forced fresh regional elections, drew an immediate rebuke from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Spain's Socialist party ruled out forming a new government with any party that supported a referendum on independence in Catalonia, a stand that prolongs political uncertainty after this month's inconclusive national election.
After Spain's elections on Sunday left the ruling Popular Party and president Mariano Rajoy well short of an absolute majority, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi argued this showed Europe does not want austerity, and those who apply them, even successful, are knocked out politically.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy suffered a first major setback in his bid to stay in office as the Socialists refused Wednesday to back his attempt to form a new government following an inconclusive general election. Rajoy's conservative Popular Party won the most ballots in Sunday's vote but lost its absolute majority in the 350-seat lower house of parliament, taking just 123.
Spain is heading for a period of difficult coalition-building after Sunday’s elections in which Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservatives came first, but were far short of a majority and with no obvious coalition partner after the centrist Ciudadanos (Citizens) did worse than expected, finishing fourth.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday rejected any idea of his ruling Popular Party (PP) trying to form a grand coalition with the main opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) after Sunday's general election, in a bid to stop emerging political forces Podemos and Ciudadanos from entering government.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was accused of being unfit to govern by his socialist challenger Pedro Sanchez on Monday night in an unusually ferocious election debate held before this week's general election. Sanchez performance makes him a first line contender for highest office in Spain, even if Rajoy's party as forecasted wins the election
The latest surveys on the Spanish legislative elections to be held next Sunday, predict a victory for the ruling center-right People's Party, or PP, but without an absolute majority, so the party will have to form a coalition to establish a government.