Spain Eyes Another Election After Socialists Can’t Form Gov’t

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s caretaker prime minister failed Thursday to receive the endorsement of the national parliament to form another government, conjuring the specter of the country’s fourth general election in five years.

Spain’s caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez arrives at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, July 25, 2019. Caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez faces his second chance to win the endorsement of the Spanish Parliament to form a government this week. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez needed more “yes” than “no” votes from lawmakers in the lower house of the Spanish parliament. He only received backing from the chamber’s 123 Socialist members and one lawmaker from a marginal regional party, while 155 lawmakers voted “No.” There were 67 abstentions.

Sánchez had tried to entice the far-left United We Can party into a government coalition, but the two rivals failed to agree on how to divvy up Cabinet posts and other powerful positions.

“I must say, that between parties of the left, the forming of a government should have been guaranteed from the first day,” Sánchez said. “The deal has not been possible. I lament the historic opportunity that is slipping away.

Lawmakers now have until Sept. 23 to break the deadlock or Spain’s fourth national election in five years will be triggered.

Sánchez could try again during that period given that the three parties on the right can’t reach a majority by themselves.

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By MANU FERNÁNDEZ and JOSEPH WILSON, reporting from Barcelona.

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