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

  • Moroccan premier forms government, ending 5-month crisis

    World News CTV News
    RABAT, Morocco -- Morocco's new Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani has succeeded in building a governing coalition, ending a five-month political deadlock after just eight days in office. El Othmani, 61, of the Islamist Party for Justice and Development, or PJD, announced Saturday in a press conference in Rabat that an "agreement has been reached" with six political parties to form a coalition government. Source
  • Congolese militia decapitates more than 40 police officers

    World News CTV News
    BENI, Congo -- A Congolese militia group has decapitated 42 policemen after ambushing them in an increasingly violent region where the U.N. is searching for missing American and Swedish investigators, a local official said Saturday. Source
  • Suspect in fatal shooting on Las Vegas Strip surrenders after standoff

    World News CBC News
    The suspect in a fatal shooting on the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday surrendered to police after barricading himself inside a bus. The standoff began after a report of shots fired on Las Vegas Boulevard in the heart of the Strip. Source
  • Suspect shooting at passing trucks on B.C. highway: RCMP

    Canada News CTV News
    PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. -- RCMP say they've received numerous calls from truck drivers reporting that someone shot at their vehicles on a B.C. highway. Police say the incidents occurred over an eight-hour period starting Friday night on Highway 97 between Houston and 100 Mile House in the province's central and northern Interior. Source
  • 1 dead on Vegas Strip shooting, gunman barricaded on bus

    World News CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- A gunman barricaded himself inside a bus Saturday along the Las Vegas Strip after a shooting that left one person dead, officials said. The attack prompted a partial closure of the busy boulevard. Source
  • Security, parking, garbage irk Ivanka Trump's D.C. neighbours

    World News CBC News
    ?Residents of a posh Washington neighbourhood say Ivanka Trump and her family don't make for very good neighbours, taking up much of the parking on an already crowded street and leaving trash bags at the curb for days. Source
  • Liberals must sell budget to premiers after 'challenging' health talks

    Canada News CBC News
    Liberal MPs stuck around Ottawa on a rare Saturday to hammer out a plan to sell their recent budget to the public in the coming weeks, but the government also will have to move past the bruising experienced during the health accord negotiations to get the premiers on board. Source
  • Elderly couple flying to Michigan taken to wrong gate, end up in N.Y.

    World News Toronto Sun
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A 96-year-old woman and an 89-year-old man were wheeled to the wrong gate at a South Florida airport and ended up on a flight to upstate New York instead of Michigan. Helen Wheeker and her husband, George Nobel, ended up Ogdensburg, N.Y. Source
  • Self-driving Uber SUV hits vehicle in Arizona

    World News Toronto Sun
    TEMPE, Ariz. — Officials say a self-driving Uber SUV was operating on its own when it was struck by another vehicle making a left turn at an intersection in Arizona, where the company is testing autonomous vehicles. Source
  • Woman ordered to return dog after taking off with pair of pooches post-breakup

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A woman who took off with two dogs she had shared with her ex-boyfriend has been ordered to return one of the pooches after a bitter ownership dispute. Matthew MacDonald told a Nova Scotia small claims court that he purchased the Yorkshire terriers while he was living with his "on-again, off-again" girlfriend Brittany Pearl in Fort McMurray, Alta. Source