Sánchez, Iglesias explore options to block Rajoy

Pedro Sánchez (L), Pablo Iglesias meet following Spain's Dec. 2015 general election. Photo: GTRES / 20Minutos.es
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• PSOE, Podemos leaders to keep dialogue open toward forming new gov’t
• Iglesias sees two viable options: Ciudadanos abstention or nationalist support

After a brief 10-minute phone call Tuesday with acting-Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to reiterate opposition from the Socialist party (PSOE) to Rajoy’s bid to lead Spain’s next government, PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez spoke with Unidos Podemos (United We Can) leader Pablo Iglesias Tuesday afternoon to see if the two political forces might still find some common ground to construct an alternative to a government led by Rajoy’s conservative Partido Popular (PP).

So far, Sánchez has been keen to avoid saying he was putting himself forward for a second time to lead the next government, following Sánchez failed bid in March when Iglesias’ Podemos (We Can) party pulled out of negotiations, ultimately leading to a humiliating defeat for the Socialist leader. This time, he says, he is simply looking to other political parties and leaders to show responsibility and put aside their differences in order to block Rajoy from a second term as Spain’s prime minister.

In their 24-minute phone conversation, Sánchez and Iglesias agreed only to maintain an open dialogue on the possibility of building an alternative government focused on social justice and democratic reform, according to sources close to both leaders.

For his part, Iglesias was said to have told Sánchez that he saw only two options for forming a progressive government: either the centre-right Ciudadanos party abstains to allow a coalition formed by the PSOE, Unidos Podemos and its regional allies; or, PSOE looks to nationalist and even secessionist parties for support, something that Sánchez has said that he and the Socialist party will not consider.

► Read More in Spanish at 20Minutos, Público and El Periódico, …

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