Spain to hold fresh elections in November

National News

FILE – In this Tuesday, July 23, 2019 file photo, Spain’s caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Spain. Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez is proposing policies including pension hikes and rent controls in a bid to win parliamentary support for a new term as prime minister, but seems likely to face a new election as he rules out a coalition with an important far-left ally. The caretaker prime minister needs the parliamentary votes of the anti-austerity Podemos (We Can) to stay in office, but its leaders say Sánchez needs to include them in his new cabinet. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, file)

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MADRID (AP) — Spain will hold fresh elections in November as no leader has been able to win enough parliamentary support to form a government.

Spain’s caretaker prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, made the announcement Tuesday after King Felipe VI announced that he had failed to find a party candidate capable of securing the support of a majority in parliament following elections April 29.

Sánchez’s Socialists won the most seats in April’s elections with 123 deputies in the 350-seat lower chamber. Numerous other parties won sizeable representation in the chamber at the elections.

The king made the decision after two days of talks with party political leaders.

The deadline to form a government had been Sept. 23. Elections will now be held Nov. 10.

“The country is destined to repeat elections,” said Sánchez.

He blamed the two center-right parties — the Popular Party and Citizens — as well as the far-left Podemos (We Can) group for blocking the formation of a government.

Sánchez had hoped to strike a deal with the far-left party and smaller regional parties but Podemos insisted on forming a coalition, a demand the Socialists rejected outright.

He called on voters to “express themselves more clearly” on Nov. 10 so as to avoid another parliamentary blockage.

The election would be Spain’s fourth in as many years.

“A new election would return another fragmented parliament, which means the country would probably not have a government before the end of the year,” Antonio Barroso, an analyst with the London-based Teneo Intelligence consultancy firm, said Tuesday.

Spain’s political landscape has been fragmented in recent years following decades in which the Socialist party and the Popular Party took turns in power.

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