• Ciudadanos opposition to PP pact with nationalists leaves Rajoy short of votes
• Rajoy hoping to revert pressure onto Socialists to abstain on investiture ballot
As Spanish Head of State King Felipe VI prepares to meet leaders of political parties represented in Congress on Tuesday for two days of talks as part process of forming a new government, acting-Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) appears to be balking over whether to take the initiative and offer his candidacy for an investiture vote in early August, as previously announced.
After the PP’s sucessful gambit to secure the votes of seven members of the Catalan pro-independence Partit Demòcrata Català (PDC, formerly Convergència or CDC) in the formation of the executive Mesa of Congress last week caused centre-right Ciudadanos to declare it will not vote for Rajoy’s investiture if the PP were to strike another such deal with nationalists, Rajoy would be shy of the number of votes required to succeed and would have to abandon any pact with the nationalists and secure an elusive abstention from the Socialist party (PSOE) if he is to become the next prime minister at this stage.
At the end of two days of talks with party leaders, on Thursday Felipe VI will meet with Rajoy and decide after their discussion whether or not to invite Rajoy to undergo an investiture vote in Congress in order to form the next government. If Rajoy declines, it will be second time in six months that he and his PP, which won the most number of votes and seats in Congress in the general elections of 20th December and 26th June, have backed away from attempting to form a new government.
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