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

  • N.S. garage rebuilds vintage truck for man with terminal cancer

    Canada News CTV News
    A garage in Nova Scotia is helping a man from the Northwest Territories with terminal brain cancer realize his dream of seeing his 1965 Chevrolet pickup truck completely rebuilt as a gift for his 21-year-old son. Source
  • Chelsea Manning's U.S. Senate bid could upend Maryland race

    World News CTV News
    BALTIMORE -- Chelsea Manning's high-profile bid for the U.S. Senate threatens to upend the 2018 Maryland Democratic primary. The former U.S. Army private convicted of leaking over 700,000 classified documents has an uphill battle to defeat Sen. Source
  • Alberta monitors, makes contingency plans on road clearing in U.K. firm bankruptcy

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Alberta's transportation minister says they are making contingency plans to clear and maintain roads as they monitor the financial fallout of a multinational United Kingdom construction company. Brian Mason says for now they believe the bankruptcy of Carillion PLC won't affect the operations of its Canadian subsidiary. Source
  • Halifax considers banning plastic shopping bags

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- As the fight against the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag ratchets up around the world, Atlantic Canada's biggest municipality is looking to join the growing ranks of cities and countries banning, restricting or taxing single-use plastic bags. Source
  • Ontario man charged with trying lure boy killed in Florida jail

    Canada News CTV News
    MARIANNA, Fla. - Police say an 82-year-old Ontario man has been killed in a Florida jail, allegedly by his cellmate. Arthur Williams of Tillsonburg, Ont., was in custody after being charged for allegedly trying to lure a nine-year-old boy. Source
  • Air Canada flight diverts to Thunder Bay, man charged with assault

    Canada News CTV News
    THUNDER BAY, Ont. - Police say an Ottawa man has been charged after an Air Canada flight was diverted to Thunder Bay, Ont., because of an unruly passenger. Thunder Bay police say officers were sent to Thunder Bay International Airport last Friday and boarded the plane just after 4 p.m. Source
  • Danish submarine owner Peter Madsen charged with killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall

    World News CBC News
    Inventor Peter Madsen was charged Tuesday with killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall during a trip on his private submarine, with prosecutors saying he either cut her throat or strangled her before dismembering her body and dumping it into the sea. Source
  • White House physician says Trump's health 'excellent'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's overall health "is excellent" and he did "exceedingly well" on cognitive screening. That's according to his White House physician, Navy doctor Ronny Jackson. Jackson is providing a more detailed readout Tuesday following Trump's first physical last Friday at the Walter Reed military hospital. Source
  • Bangladesh, Myanmar aim to return Rohingya within 2 years

    World News CBC News
    Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed that they will try to complete the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled from violence in Myanmar within two years, Bangladesh's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The ministry said a joint working group from the two countries finalized an agreement on Monday on the physical arrangements for the repatriation of the ethnic Rohingya. Source
  • Rebel ex-policeman Oscar Perez among dead in Venezuela shootout

    World News CBC News
    Officials in Venezuela confirmed Tuesday that a rebellious police officer who led a brazen helicopter attack in Caracas last year was among those killed in a violent shootout with security forces. Oscar Perez was among the seven who died fighting against police and soldiers Monday in a small mountain community outside of Caracas, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said. Source