It had been widely expected for weeks, but now it is official.
At 9.37am on Tuesday, King Felipe VI signed a decree calling new elections in Spain for June 26.
The move comes after more than four months of failed cross-party negotiations to form a new government following the inconclusive election of December 20.
Both Congress and the executive were keen on securing earlier dates, but existing legislation does not allow it
It is the first time in Spain’s democratic history that a general election has to be held again.
Following Spanish legislation, Congressional speaker Patxi López arrived at La Zarzuela, the royal residence, and relayed the text of the decree to the Official Gazette for publication.
From this moment on, parliament is dissolved and both deputies and senators have ceased to be so.
The new campaign race will begin on June 10, and the new parliament will probably be constituted on July 19. Both Congress and the executive were keen on securing earlier dates, but existing legislation does not allow it.
Surveys show that the new election will yield a similarly fragmented political scenario, and will once again force parties to forge governing alliances.
English version by Susana Urra.