Felipe VI kicks off two days of consultation with parties

Felipe VI (R) greets Foro Asturias' Isidro Martínez Oblanca, beginning round of consultations Tuesday morning. Photo: EFE
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Spain’s head of state, King Felipe VI, embarked Tuesday on a two-day marathon round of consultations with leaders of political parties represented in Congress, part of the post-election process of inviting one of the parties to attempt to form a new government and put forward a candidate to become Spain’s next president.

The King has his work cut out for him, consulting in less than 48 hours with 18 of 22 political parties that comprise what is by all accounts the most fragmented — some would say the most democratic — Congress in recent history. Following the 10th November general elections, more parties now hold seats in the lower chamber of parliament than at any other time since Spain’s return to democracy in the late 1970s.

► News Sources: EFE, El País and La Vanguardia …

The King got an early start at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, meeting with Foro Asturias, Aragon’s ¡Teruel Existe! party, the Partido Regionalista de Cantabria (PRC) and the Valencian region’s Compromís. In the afternoon, Felipe VI was scheduled to meet with the leaders of UPN, Nueva Canaria, Coalición Canaria, Balicia’s En Común and Más País.

On Wednesday, the King will meet with the leaders of Izquierda Unida, the Basque nationalist PNV party, Catalonia’s En Comú and Junts per Catalunya, followed by Ciudadanos, Podemos, VOX, the Partido Popular and the Socialist party (PSOE).

Because of their anti-monarchist sentiments, four parties — Catalonia’s ERC and CUP parties, the Basque Country’s EH Bildu and Galicia’s BNG — have refused to meet with the King.

At the end of the round of consultations, Felipe VI will advise the President of the Congress, Meritxell Batet, as to whether or not he will ask the leader of one of the parties to put forward a candidate to form the next government.

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