Pedro Sánchez, the Socialist leader and acting prime minister of Spain, has lost a second bid to be confirmed by the country’s parliament – the Cortes – and will not be able to form a government, a move that will force Spain to hold fresh elections in November.
The new poll will be the fourth time that Spaniards have been called to vote to choose a government in four years, and the fifth election held this year alone.
Sanchez was backed by his own 123 lawmakers and by one representative from a small regional party in Cantabria but was unable to garner enough support to win the required 176 votes to be confirmed.
The Popular Party (PP), Ciudadanos (Citizens), the far-right Vox, Junts per Catalunya, Navarra Suma and Canaries Coalition voted no. There were abstentions from Unidas Podemos, Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), Compromís, Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and Bildu.
“Today is not a good day, not for anybody who considers themselves progressive,” summed up Socialist spokesperson Adriana Lastra. “This is the second time, Mr Iglesias, that you are going to prevent a leftist government in Spain,” she added in a direct address to the leader of Unidas Podemos (UP), Pablo Iglesias.
Two months of negotiations between the Socialists, or PSOE, and UP were unsuccessful as the two were unable to form a left-wing government.
Sanchez now has until 23 September to form a new government before new elections are officially called for November.