Spain's Mariano Rajoy will 'try to form a stable government,' but no partner at hand

MADRID -- Spain's opposition Socialist party Monday said it would vote against having acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy form a new government, thus killing one of Rajoy's options to stay in power after voters elected a fragmented Parliament.

See Full Article

Rajoy's ruling conservative Popular Party came first in Sunday's general election, winning 123 seats but falling far short of the 176 seats it needs for a majority and losing a chunk of the 186 seats it won in 2011. Rajoy, seeking a second term, said he will "try to form a stable government"' but has no immediately obvious partner to do that.

The Socialists came second with 90 seats and could seek a coalition with other leftist groups.

Two newcomer parties burst onto the scene, capitalizing on many voters' disenchantment with high unemployment, constant corruption cases and the country's political status quo. The far-left Podemos party gained 69 seats for third place, making it a possible kingmaker, while the centrist, business-friendly Ciudadanos party got an influential 40.

"Spain is not going to be the same anymore," said jubilant Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias.

Socialist party official Cesar Luena said Rajoy's Popular Party, which won the most votes, should have the first crack at forming a government but ruled out supporting Rajoy, eliminating the possibility of an unprecedented coalition between the two parties which have dominated Spanish politics for decades.

Sunday's inconclusive result paves the way to weeks or possibly months of negotiations. Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA in London, said Spain may now face an era of "political paralysis and instability."

Spain's benchmark Ibex 35 index was down 2 per cent in trading Monday, suggesting investor jitters following the result.

If forced out of government, Rajoy's Popular Party would become the third European victim this year of a voter backlash against austerity measures following elections in Greece and Portugal seen as rebellions against unpopular tax hikes and spending cuts.

Rajoy's best chance would seem to be with Ciudadanos -- because of their shared centre-right, business-friendly politics -- but the party has ruled out supporting Rajoy as prime minister, chiefly because of corruption cases in his party.

Ciudadanos' leader, Albert Rivera, said Monday that his party and the Socialists should abstain in the Parliament vote and give the Popular Party a possibility of forming a minority government.

Under the constitution, King Felipe VI will invite a party leader -- normally from the party with the most votes -- to form a government. The nominee must garner a majority of deputies' votes in Parliament in a first round to take office, or the most votes in the second round.

Deputies take their seats by Jan. 13 but there is no time limit on staging the first vote. If the candidate is not immediately successful, Parliament has two months to elect a prime minister or call a new election.

The German government, a strong supporter of Rajoy, said Monday it had not been in touch with the Spanish government. Spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said the Spanish people can be congratulated on the 73 per cent turnout, "but otherwise I don't yet see so clearly who one can congratulate in this situation."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Most bidders who snapped up 'creepy' High River estate homes have backed out [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It's been dubbed the creepiest neighbourhood in the world, and despite furious bidding wars over two dozen flood impacted estate homes in High River, most of the vacant properties won't be leaving anytime soon. Last week, the deadline imposed by the province passed for bidders who successfully won the 26 properties up for public auction to commit to moving them, leaving 18 of them, all in the formerly high-end neighbourhood of Beachwood Estates, with nowhere to go. Source
  • Combustible cladding could be on 600 highrise buildings in England: PM

    World News CBC News
    The British prime minister estimates 600 highrise buildings in England have cladding made of materials similar to what was found in a devastating west London fire. Theresa May told the House of Commons that authorities submitted cladding on similar buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14 that killed at least 79 people. Source
  • Prince Philip released from hospital

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON — Prince Philip was discharged Thursday from a London hospital after he was treated for an infection, Buckingham Palace said. Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital on Tuesday as a precautionary measure after he fell ill with an infection related to an existing health condition that wasn’t made public. Source
  • University of Toronto gets ready for graduation ceremony today for black students

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Organizers of a graduation ceremony for black students at Canada's largest university say the event is meant to acknowledge the barriers that remain for people of colour pursuing academia. The ceremony is being held Thursday at the University of Toronto after two students took it upon themselves to organize the event for black students completing degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Source
  • Prince Harry says nobody wants to be king or queen

    World News CBC News
    Prince Harry said no one in Britain's royal family wants to be king or queen and criticised a decision to force him to parade behind his mother Princess Diana's coffin after her death in 1997, according to an interview with a U.S. Source
  • Four more arrests linked to Brussels rail station attack

    World News CBC News
    Belgian authorities said Thursday that police detained four people in a series of raids in Brussels linked to the failed bombing at a rail station this week by a man reportedly shouting "Allahu akbar." The federal prosecutor's office said that the four were picked up during searches in the Molenbeek neighborhood, as well as in Anderlecht and Koekelberg. Source
  • Suicide car bombing in Afghanistan kills at least 15

    World News CBC News
    A local police chief in Afghanistan says a suicide car bombing targeted Afghan soldiers lining up outside a bank in southern Helmand province, killing at least 15 people. Provincial police chief Gen. Agha Noor Kentoz says the attacker struck on Thursday in Lashkargah, the provincial capital. Source
  • Suicide car bombing in Afghanistan kills 29

    World News CBC News
    The governor of Afghanistan's Helmand province says a suicide bombing outside a bank has killed 29 people, most of them civilians. Provincial police chief Gen. Agha Noor Kentoz says the attacker struck on Thursday in Lashkargah, the provincial capital. Source
  • Talks with Pentagon over 'interim' fighter jets continue despite Boeing snub

    Canada News CBC News
    Talks with the Pentagon about filling the Canadian air force's short-term need for jet fighters remain on track, said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Those negotiations for a so-called "interim capability" continue despite the Liberal government making a very public display at the Paris Air Show this week of snubbing Boeing executives. Source