Spain is heading for its fourth elections in four years; since Spain last went to the polls on April 28, negotiation to form a viable coalition have failed.
The incumbent minority government of the Socialist prime minister Pedro Sanchez has been unable to broker a new parliamentary majority, even with its most likely partner, Unidas Podemos. Equally, Sánchez has been unable to strike a deal with the centre-right Ciudadanos (Citizens).
Following consultations with all political parties represented in parliament, Spain’s King Felipe VI issued a statement on Tuesday concluding that no candidate is in position to garner the necessary parliamentary majority. By Tuesday evening, Sanchez told the press that he is not likely to secure a parliamentary majority.
That means that the Spanish parliament is likely to be dissolved by next week and the country will go to the polls on November 10.
The last chance for the formation of a government may be presented by September 23, that is, the deadline by which the king can still give a mandate for the formation of a government. This would mean brokering a new coalition agreement by Thursday next week at the latest.
Podemos will only agree to lend the Socialist Party (PSOE) its parliamentary support if they were granted seats in the cabinet. Sánchez has refused.
Ciudadanos’ leader Albert Rivera offered on Monday to passively support the government by abstaining, if PSOE committed not to raise income tax, reorganizing political alliances in the northern Spanish region of Navarre, and take a hard line on the Catalan independence crisis by not granting pardons to jailed Catalan leaders. PSOE insists that they are already meeting these conditions, a fact which Ciudadanos contest.