Published On: Fri, Sep 13th, 2019

Spain election: Chaos as fourth vote in four years looms – King orders urgent meeting | World | News


Mr Sanchez, 47, and his Socialist Workers’ Party had won a snap election in April, but fell short of an absolute majority. He has been caretaker Prime Minister and has so far failed to reach an agreement with Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, ahead of the looming September 23 deadline to form a new Government. Spain, which is the fifth largest economy in the Eurozone, now faces its second election in five months – and fourth since 2015.

The ongoing political stand-off has prompted the King of Spain, King Felipe VI, to order a meeting with the leaders of the country’s political parties to determine if there is a viable candidate.

The royal house announced talks between the monarch and politicians will be on September 16 and 17.

If the King believes that no candidate can command a majority in the 350-member lower chamber needed to form a Government, he will proceed to call voters to the polls in November.

On Thursday, Mr Sanchez rejected the latest proposal by the left-wing Podemos for a coalition Government on a one-year trial period, a Socialist party source said.

In July, in a bid to break the stalemate, Mr Sanchez offered Podemos four Cabinet positions in the Government – but this was rejected by Mr Iglesias.

Mr Sanchez said: “There are many ways to reach an understanding, if you have proposals we will listen.

“Let the progressive legislature in which the Spaniards voted start working.”

Mr Iglesias has also reiterated his preference to finding a deal.

He said: “I again extend my hand to you.

“You have made us an offer and we made a counteroffer.

“I suggest that based on these two offers we sit down to negotiate.”

The deadline to find an agreement was triggered two months ago, when Mr Sanchez lost a vote of confidence in the Spanish parliament to form a Government.

Mr Sanchez received backing from the chamber’s 123 Socialist members and one politician from a marginal regional party.

However in a damning result, 155 opponents voted “no” and there was also 67 abstentions.

With less just 10 days to go to find a breakthrough in negotiations before an election is triggered – both political parties have voice their opposition to another vote.

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Meanwhile a former official in Mr Sanchez’s Government is unsure whether an election can provide a solution to the impasse.

The former official told the Financial Times: “Going to an election is risky for both sides, but the risks are higher for Podemos.

“Sanchez is hoping he can win a few more votes from Podemos in an election.

“The problem is he will eventually need Podemos support if he is to form a Government.”



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