• Spain's news in English
Rajoy to ask MPs: let me stay on despite deadlock

Rajoy to ask MPs: let me stay on despite deadlock

AFP · 19 Aug 2016, 10:59

Published: 19 Aug 2016 10:59 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Mariano Rajoy will seek parliamentary approval to lead the country for a second term on August 30, speaker Ana Pastor said Thursday, in a bid to unblock months of deadlock after two inconclusive elections.
But Rajoy faces a tough road ahead as the rival Socialists, whose support he needs to pass a government led by his conservative Popular Party (PP) through the necessary vote of confidence, categorically refuse to back him.
This could lead Spain towards a third round of elections, leaving it ever more months without a fully-functioning government as squabbling parties remain unable to reach any kind of pact following inconclusive polls in December, and again in June.
"I have decided to call the plenary session... on August 30," said Pastor, a gathering that will see lawmakers hold debates before voting for or against Rajoy – or abstaining – on the same day or the next, depending on the length of each intervention.
The PP won 137 parliamentary seats out of 350 in June's elections – well short of an absolute majority – and Rajoy therefore has to negotiate with other parties to form a coalition or minority government and push it through the vote.
In order to do so, Rajoy will need an absolute majority in the vote. If he fails, a second vote will be held several days later in which he would only need a simple majority.
Socialists are key
Rajoy announced earlier on Thursday that he would kick off negotiations with the PP's smaller, centrist rival Ciudadanos on Friday, with the view of securing its support in the vote.
Regional party Coalicion Canaria, which gained one seat in June elections, has also said it may back Rajoy.
But even if both Coalicion Canaria and Ciudadanos, which won 32 seats, accept to support the PP, Rajoy will still not have a majority to push his government plans through.
He therefore needs the support of the Socialist party (PSOE), which came second in the elections with 85 seats, but they refuse to back him.
Pablo Simon, politics professor at Madrid's Carlos III University, said he would likely be defeated, at least in his first attempt.
“The PSOE will say no in the first session, maybe no in the second session as well," he said.
If both votes fail, there will be a period in which parties will once again have the opportunity to negotiate.
"We will see if the PSOE accepts to negotiate to avoid a third round of elections," said Simon.
Story continues below…
The PP has already had to make concessions in order to kick-start talks with Ciudadanos.
The centrist grouping led by the 36-year-old Albert Rivera only agreed to sit down for talks after the corruption-hit PP agreed to implement a series of anti-graft measures it set as a condition for negotiations.
The measures include forcing any person in public office who has been formally charged with political corruption to leave his or her post immediately.
The issue is sensitive for the PP, which has been hit by a string of graft scandals over the years.
Corruption was a big topic in campaigns before elections in December and again in June but this did not stop the PP from coming first each time, though without an absolute majority.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available