Spain: Sanchez continues to seek consensus with Podemos

Spaniards do not deserve re-election, says Spain's premier, while country still without gov't 100 days after polls in April

Beyza Binnur Dönmez   | 07.08.2019
Spain: Sanchez continues to seek consensus with Podemos


Spain's acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez on Wednesday said he would continue to search for alternative ways to reach an agreement to form a government with a fellow leftist party, despite "mutual distrust". 

"Do not lose hope, do not throw in the towel, I think that Spaniards do not deserve new elections," Sanchez told reporters after a meeting with the Spanish King Felipe VI.

Since its victory in general election last April, Sanchez's Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and the leftist Podemos -- seen as the PSOE's most likely coalition partner -- have been negotiating to secure a government and avoid fresh elections, though the talks have yet been fruitless.

After losing a confidence vote in parliament on July 23, Sanchez rejected a proposal from Podemos, and with it his last chance form a government in a second vote of confidence two days later.

The PSOE offered Podemos the vice presidency as well as three ministries a day before the second vote. However, Podemos demanded the Labor Ministry as a condition to invest in a new government, which was excluded in the PSOE’s proposal.

The disagreement between the parties ended in a second failure to gain the parliament's confidence, leaving Spain without an operational government 100 days after snap election on April 28.

The country will set a date for fresh general election within two months of the first confidence vote. If Sanchez fails to form a government by a Sept. 24 deadline, the parliament will be dissolved in line with the political calendar and the country will hold its fourth general election in four years.

The possibility of snap election in the fall increased with the latest political moves in Madrid as political parties are yet to reach a consensus to form a new government.

- Spanish parties struggle for government

Spain's political system, which was based on two major parties -- the right-wing Popular Party (PP) and the PSOE, collapsed after the 2008-2014 economic crisis, forcing the parties to seek support from the smaller parties that gained popularity in order to form minority governments.

As a result of the economic crisis, the presence of new parties such as Podemos and the Citizens (C's) Party had caused the PP and PSOE to lose votes. Since 2015, no party has been able to gain the majority necessary to form a government, which has led the country to hold the third general elections in four years.

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