Socialists say Rajoy must try to form government

Socialist party leader Pedro Sánchez at PSOE offices in Madrid, 27th July. Photo: Mariscal / EFE via El País
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• Party leader Sánchez will not fill breach if Rajoy again declines to form gov’t
• PSOE says Rajoy must attempt to govern with centre-right, nationalist parties

The Socialist party (PSOE) says it will not step forward to present party leader Pedro Sánchez as a candidate to become Spain’s next prime minister should Mariano Rajoy of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) decline to attempt to form a new government after his much-anticipated meeting with King Felipe VI this afternoon.

Rajoy, who remains acting-Prime Minister in the wake of the two general elections of 20th December and 26th June, declined the last offer made to him by Felipe VI as Spain’s head of State to attempt to form a government following the December election, leading Sánchez to present his own unsuccessful candidacy that failed after two rounds of voting by Congress in March.

While Rajoy has said he would again consider declining an offer to form the next government if he does not feel he has sufficient votes from parties represented in Congress to succeed, the Socialists insist that Rajoy has not yet done enough to negotiate with parties on the right and center-right of the political spectrum in order to put together a governing coalition.

Insisting the Socialists will not simply abstain in the voting to allow Rajoy to take office, the party has also made clear that if Rajoy walks away from the responsibility of attempting to form a government, this time they will not simply step into the breach and field Sanchez for another round of negotiations and balloting that might well prove unsuccessful yet again for the Socialist leader.

► Read More in Spanish at El Mundo, La Vanguardia and El País …

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