Socialist chief admits new elections inevitable, blaming PP and Podemos

Pedro Sánchez tells reporters after meeting with king that “change has been delayed by two months”

The king and Sánchez meet on Tuesday.
The king and Sánchez meet on Tuesday.ÁNGEL DÍAZ ((EFE))

After meeting with Spain’s King Felipe VI on Tuesday afternoon, as part of the last round of talks with politicians before new elections will have to be called, Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez announced that he had told the king that he will not have enough support to win a second investiture vote in Congress.

“I don’t have enough votes to unblock the opposition of the Popular Party [PP] and Podemos,” Sánchez told reporters. The former party won most votes at the inconclusive December 20 elections in Spain, but fell well short of a majority. The latter, meanwhile, has refused to do deals with any of the other Spanish parties in the negotiations that have ensued.

Earlier in the day the Socialists had announced that they were in agreement with most of the policy points submitted by Valencian leftist party Compromís, with a view to forging a leftist alliance. But that deal was rejected outright by emerging center-right force Ciudadanos.

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Sánchez defended the deal he had reached with Ciudadanos, and which he took to Congress for the first investiture vote – which he ended up losing, despite the support of the new party.

But he had harsh words for Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Podemos. “Iglesias has slammed the door and bolted it,” he said in reference to the refusal of the party chief to do a deal. “He has put his positions ahead of change in this country. He never wanted to do a deal with the PSOE and never wanted to see a Socialist prime minister,” he said. “Perhaps Iglesias thinks that democracy is all about imposing and not about reaching consensus,” he continued.

“Change has been delayed by two months, but change will arrive,” the PSOE chief said in reference to new elections, which will most likely be held in June.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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