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Spain faces a third general election after acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy failed to gain enough support on Wednesday in the investiture.
- The People's Party (PP) leader Rajoy obtained 170 votes in favor and 180 against after 11 hours of debate at the Spanish Congress of Deputies. He needed an absolute majority in this first attempt, the support of 176 members of the Congress of Deputies.
- Rajoy had the support of centre-right party Ciudadanos (32 seats) and regional party Coalicion Canaria (one seat) while on the other hand, another six political parties voted against, including the main opposition party, Spain's Socialist Party (PSOE), whose leader Pedro Sanchez had already announced his opposition to a government led by Rajoy.
- Left wing Unidos Podemos (71 seats) and regional parties ERC (nine seats), PDC (eight seats), PNV (five seats), EH Bildu (two seats) voted against.
Members of the Congress of Deputies will meet again on Friday in order to vote again when Rajoy would need absolute majority or the abstention of 11 deputies. If he has not got enough support, Spanish King Felipe VI could start another round of meetings in order to choose another candidate.
If it is impossible to form government, Spain would hold general election for the third time in a row which is scheduled for Dec. 25.
If there is no breakthrough, voters will be asked to return to the polls on December 25, the date determined by timings laid out in Spanish election law.
Socialists and other parties have already proposed shortening the campaign so a repeat election can be held on December 18.
The 61-year-old candidate is trying to piece together the first administration since Spain’s traditional two-party system broke down with the emergence of Ciudadanos and Podemos at last December’s election. While the PP was the only group to increase its vote at a re-run in June, and has considerable common ground with the Socialists on policy, Rajoy is struggling to clinch enough support because of unresolved corruption allegations against his party.
“A third election would be very bad news for all Spaniards,” acting Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told reporters after the vote. “I hope we can all look in the mirror in the coming days and think about our responsibilities.”