Rajoy makes final push to end political deadlock

Jul 29, 2016, 2:52 AM EDT
Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
(Source: European People's Party/flickr)

In an attempt to end a seven-month political gridlock in Spain, the country’s acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy accepted King Felipe VI’s mandate to seek a confidence vote from parliament. Most parties, including the Socialists under leader Pedro Sanchez, have refused to support Rajoy’s Popular Party (P.P.), which lost its absolute majority last December. Rajoy said he accepted the King’s mandate while admitting that the prospects of forming a government looked grim.

Spain descended into a political turmoil after voters, frustrated by an economic crisis and austerity measures, denied a clear majority to any of the parties in December elections, writes the BBC.  After several rounds of failed negotiations, the country held new elections in June, only to get a hung parliament for the second time within six months.

Without providing a date for the confidence vote, Rajoy said he would step up his efforts to forge a coalition, notes The Wall Street Journal. Analysts believe there is a high probability of a new election, given the “entrenched positions” of all parties.

Spain is at risk of missing a European Union deadline if it fails to pass its budget before October, a likely prospect in the absence of a fully functional government, reports Reuters