Spain’s Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP
Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

“I accepted the task,” Rajoy old reporters, saying he would now submit himself to a parliamentary vote of confidence which he is almost certain to win after the Socialists opted to let him govern, meaning Spain should finally get a government next week.

Rajoy's Popular Party (PP) won elections in June but without enough seats to govern alone, and after a first failed attempt to push a minority government through a parliamentary vote, he will now try again at the weekend.

The 61-year-old will likely succeed this time after the Socialists voted Sunday to abstain in such a vote — giving him enough traction to get through.   

In line with post-election protocol, parliamentary speaker Ana Pastor called two obligatory lower house debates on a Rajoy-led government, after which confidence votes will be held.

The Socialists, who do not support the acting prime minister but say they want to see an end to Spain's political blockage, have decided to vote against him in the first vote, which will take place Thursday.

They will then abstain in the second and final vote, due on Saturday.

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