Spain’s Socialists Won’t Back Rajoy’s Bid to Form Government

  • Acting Premier Rajoy seeks to form a government by August
  • Rajoy meets with Podemos, Ciudadanos leaders on Tuesday

Spain’s Socialist Party won’t lend its support to Mariano Rajoy, the nation’s acting prime minister, who is aiming to form a government by August.

“From the three options: abstention, a supporting or against, the socialists will vote against,” Pedro Sanchez, leader of the Socialist Party, said in a televised speech on Saturday. Rajoy, whose People’s Party was the only group to increase its vote in June 26 elections, is seeking support from other parties having failed to win a majority.

Last month’s vote marked the second time Spaniards had been to the polls in six months. Rajoy won 137 seats in the 350-strong Spanish chamber, short of the 176 seat-threshold for a majority while Sanchez’s Socialists won 85 seats, down 5 from December.

“If no one wants to repeat elections, all of us should act with all the possible responsibility,” Rajoy said in a press conference Saturday in Warsaw. “I have the biggest responsibility as head of the party with the most votes, but everyone got their votes and they should use it in the best interest of Spain.”

Rajoy wants the other parties to “solve his problem if possible before August so he can head for holidays,” Sanchez said. “Rajoy should build a proposal for his potential allies of which the Socialist party isn’t one of them,” Sanchez said.

Rajoy is scheduled to meet Pablo Iglesias, leader of the anti-establishment group Podemos, and Albert Rivera, leader of the liberal Ciudadanos group in separate meetings in Madrid on Tuesday.

A meeting between Rajoy and Sanchez hasn’t been announced.

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