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Spain’s King Names No Premier Candidate, Opening Way to New Elections

MADRID – Spain’s King Felipe VI did not name on Tuesday a candidate to form a new government after his round of contacts with political leaders, a decision that clears the way for a “re-do” of the country’s general elections on Nov. 10.

After two days of consultations, the king “determined that there is no candidate having the necessary support whereby the Congress of Deputies ... might give him its confidence,” the Royal Palace said in a statement, referring to the lower house of the Cortes Generales, Spain’s legislative branch.

Felipe made his decision after on Tuesday meeting with Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, a Socialist, and with the leaders of the country’s main political parties with parliamentary representation.

The monarch communicated this decision to the head of the Congress of Deputies, Meritxell Batet, and in accord with legal requirements the two chambers of Parliament will be dissolved on Sept. 23 and general elections will be called.

The decision was the result of the political logjam that has beset Spain since the April 28 elections and which prevented Sanchez from forming a government in July.

The impasse is due to the fact that Sanchez’s Socialist Party (PSOE) – the winner of the April elections – was not able to forge an agreement to form a government with the leftist Unidas Podemos (UP) party.

The insistence by Sanchez and the PSOE on forming a mono-color government with the parliamentary support of the UP, and the latter’s determination to be part of a coalition government were the mutually exclusive factors leading to their failure to agree.

Meanwhile, the conservative Popular Party and the center-right Ciudadanos (C’s) maintained their intention to vote against Sanchez, as they did in July, and ultimately rejected the option of abstaining, which would have allowed him to form a government and eliminate the political gridlock.

Sanchez said at a press conference at Moncloa Palace on Tuesday that since the April elections he had tried “by every means” to form a government but that task had proven to be “impossible.” He blamed the UP for having “impeded four times” in 2016 and 2019 the formation of a progressive government and the PP and C’s for not abstaining so that he would not have to depend on the backing of other political forces.

“I have tried by every means, but they have made it impossible for us. I tried to form a government for Spain, a government not any government, but rather the one in my judgment that Spain needs in the face of the challenges we have ahead,” Sanchez said.


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