Election deadline looms as parties fail to strike accord

Image of Fire Brigade personnel in Malaga province. Credit: [email protected]

SPANISH voters will probably return to polling stations for an unprecedented second general election on June 26, as King Felipe VI confirmed that no party has accrued sufficient support to form a government following his latest round of meetings with party leaders.

Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) supremo Pedro Sanchez told the monarch that he was unable to muster enough seats, saying “I cannot and should not submit myself for investiture.”

Spain has been without a government since December, and there remained a small hope that an alliance could be formed on Tuesday April 26, when green party Compromis presented the ‘Prado accord’, modelled on the coalition currently governing the Valencian Community.

The group proposed a series of 30 measures that would permit Sanchez to lead a coalition of left-wing independents, which would be submitted to a vote of confidence.

The PSOE agreed to 27 of these, but their offer was rejected out of hand by left wing rivals Podemos and Cuidadanos, while the interim government of Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) has made little attempt to make a deal with anyone since the PSOE turned down their “grand coalition” idea earlier this year.

Rajoy said: “All attempts at building alternative coalitions have been a merry-go-round of quaint ideas.”

If opinion polls are to be trusted, the result of June’s election will be similar to December’s, meaning the country faces a murky political future as it continues to battle a range of social and economic issues.

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