Spain prepares for a repeat general election as PSOE fails to gather enough support

Pedro Sánchez is given a standing ovation by PSOE MPs in the Congreso on Wednesday.
Pedro Sánchez is given a standing ovation by PSOE MPs in the Congreso on Wednesday. / EFE
  • On Tuesday (September 24th) the Spanish parliament will be dissolved and the vote will be on November 10th

There has been no agreement between the Socialist PSOE party and left-wing Unidas Podemos to help form a new government.

PSOE leader and acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez faced a difficult PM questions session on Wednesday, when all parties criticised him for failing to reach an agreement that would have given him the support of enough MPs to be chosen as Prime Minister.

Spanish national politics has been in stalemate since the general election last April, when the PSOE came out as largest party but without enough MPs to form a majority.

After a failed investiture attempt before the summer, the chances of a deal with the MPs of natural ally, left wing alliance Unidas Podemos, slipped away in the last few weeks. On Tuesday (September 24th) both upper and lower houses of the Madrid parliament will be dissolved and a fresh national general election called for November 10th.

On Tuesday this week, Sánchez met with the King who, as expected, failed to designate him again as candidate to be PM, knowing that he didn't have enough support among MPs.

Sánchez attacked other parties for failing to support his MPs with a majority or abstaining. The leader of Unidas Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, was accused of being "dogmatic" after Iglesias held out for a share in a coalition government which Sánchez had rejected. Sánchez said that centrist Ciudadanos leader, Albert Rivera, had been "irresponsible" in not abstaining to let the PSOE govern. He also hit out at Pablo Casado, leader of the opposition Partido Popular, saying that he lacked a sense of statesmanship in blocking "the only government possible at a critical moment" for the country; among the challenges faced he cited the upcoming court sentence for leaders of the independence movement in Catalunya, the possible no-deal Brexit and a cooling in the economy.

In reply, all parties said the PSOE only had itself to blame for not getting enough MPs' support.