MADRID: Spain’s caretaker socialist prime minister Pedro Sanchez lost a crunch post-election vote of confidence on Thursday after coalition talks with the far-left failed, pushing the country closer to repeat polls.
Sanchez faced the vote in parliament after his Socialist party won most seats in an inconclusive general election in April but without securing a majority in the 350-seat house.
On Thursday, apart from the 123 lawmakers of his own party, just one other deputy from a regional grouping supported the Socialist leader, leaving him far from the simple majority he needed to go through.
Sanchez now has another two months to find ways of getting support, either for a minority or a coalition government.
Without a deal, Spain will have to go back to the polls in November in what would be its fourth general election in as many years.
The country faces several challenges: an ongoing separatist movement in its northeastern region of Catalonia, high unemployment, low wages and job insecurity.
During an interview with private television Telecinco late on Thursday, Sanchez said he would start working “now” to ensure Spain has a new government “as soon as possible” and avoid fresh polls.
“I will not throw in the towel,” he added.