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."


Latest Canada & World News

  • Another explosion injures 2 in Austin

    World News CTV News
    AUSTIN, Texas -- At least two people were injured in another explosion in Texas' capital Sunday night, after three package bombs detonated earlier this month in other parts of the city and killed two people and injured two others. Source
  • Boy shoots sister in video game controller dispute: police

    World News CTV News
    Authorities in Mississippi say a 9-year-old boy has shot his 13-year-old sister in the head and wounded her after an argument over a video game controller. Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell told local news outlets that the girl wouldn't give up the video game controller when her brother wanted it on Saturday. Source
  • Volunteers won't give up search for boy, 3, swept away in Ontario river

    Canada News CTV News
    Nearly one month after a little boy was swept away in an Ontario river, dozens of volunteers continue to search for him. Kaden Young, 3, was ripped from his mother’s arms after her minivan ended up in the swollen Grand River, near Orangeville, Ont. Source
  • Lawyer charges grieving family thousands for time spent responding to complaint against him

    Canada News CBC News
    A grieving daughter was blindsided when the lawyer hired to settle her father's estate charged thousands of dollars for time he spent responding to a complaint the family filed against him. But lawyers are not allowed to bill for hours spent responding to complaints, according to the Law Society of Ontario. Source
  • 2018 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremonies

    Canada News CBC News
    2018 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremonies LIVE0:00 Nearly 2,000 athletes from the circumpolar north have gathered in Hay River, Northwest Territories, for the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Arctic Winter Games Source
  • B.C. teachers' union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The union representing British Columbia teachers will look to boost salaries, when their contract negotiations open later this year. B.C. Teachers' Federation president Glen Hansman told a crowd at the union's annual general meeting Saturday night that the province's low starting salaries mean that B.C. Source
  • Trump to unveil opioid plan that includes death penalty for drug dealers: White House

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump will unveil a plan Monday to combat the opioid addiction crisis that includes seeking the death penalty for drug dealers and urging Congress to toughen sentencing laws for drug traffickers, White House officials say. Source
  • Baby dies from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in Barrie, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    Police in Barrie, Ont., say a baby has died and his mother and sister are in hospital after a suspected carbon monoxide leak. Const. Sarah Bamford said that police responded to a 911 call from a frantic father at around 8:30 a.m. Source
  • Calgary siblings devastated after Arizona crash leaves their triplet sister dead

    Canada News CBC News
    A Canadian woman is among three people killed in a March 13 crash in Arizona that also left her husband in a coma. Patti Lou Doornbos — who goes by Lou — and Ron Doornbos, both 60, were on a sidewalk on their way to go hiking in Fountain Hills, about 50 kilometres northeast of Phoenix, when they were hit from behind by a Ford Explorer. Source
  • Florida bridge collapse: Out on errands, killed in an instant

    World News CTV News
    MIAMI -- They had just finished up lunch, and set off to run a humdrum errand: a drive to the travel agency to pick up airline tickets for their annual visit to their beloved homeland, Cuba. Source