Spanish Premier Loses Bid to Form Gov’t

Spanish Premier Loses Bid to Form Gov’tSpanish Premier Loses Bid to Form Gov’t

Spanish lawmakers have voted against acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, denying him a mandate to form a new government.

After two votes of no-confidence in the assembly, Spain seems to be heading for another election. Rajoy was backed by 170 deputies on Friday, with 180 voting against him.

The result matches a previous vote two days ago, with the Socialists, the Unidos Podemos, as well as Basque and Catalonian parties rejecting Rajoy’s center-right People’s Party. The PP had hoped that some opposition MPs would abstain from Friday’s vote, allowing Rajoy to claim a simple majority, DPA reported.

Spain has been led by the caretaker Cabinet since the elections in December, when Rajoy’s party failed to win an absolute majority. The political deadlock had already prompted a second round of elections in June.

The Friday vote paves the way for yet another election, which can only be averted if the MPs make a deal in the next two months. Otherwise, Spanish King Felipe VI will have to call a third election, which would likely fall on Christmas Day.

“We can’t have new elections; we can’t be this ridiculous,” PP’s parliamentary spokesman, Rafael Hernando, said ahead of the vote.

However, the Socialists repeatedly questioned Rajoy’s credibility over illegal financing allegations. “We are going to do what we said we would do during the election campaign, which is to not allow Rajoy to remain at the head of the government,” the Socialists’ parliamentary spokesman, Antonio Hernando, said on Thursday.