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Clock Is Ticking as Spanish Politicians Seek Governing Pact

  • Parliament must choose a premier by May 2 to avoid new ballot
  • Socialist leader takes first crack at winning confidence vote
Pedro Sanchez, leader of Socialist Party.

Pedro Sanchez, leader of Socialist Party.

Photographer: Marcos del Mazo/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
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Ten weeks after a general election produced an unprecedented deadlock in parliament, efforts to form a government in Spain are entering a critical phase.

Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez will start the countdown to a fresh ballot when he asks lawmakers to let him lead the next government in a vote on Wednesday. The legislature will then have another two months to find a prime minister before a new election is triggered. With just 90 lawmakers in the 350-seat chamber, and another 40 from his pro-market ally Ciudadanos, he’s almost certain to be rejected at the first attempt.