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Spain's King Felipe tasks Mariano Rajoy to form new government

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Spain's King Felipe tasks Mariano Rajoy to form new government

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Spain’s acting prime minister has accepted a mandate from the king to form a government. Mariano Rajoy warned he might fail and that could lead to a confidence vote in parliament.

Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party won the most votes in the June election but it fell short of a majority.

“I am willing to explore the possibility of a minority government, only with the support of the popular party,” Rajoy told reporters. “It is true that this formula is only possible if the rest of the group guarantees a minimum loyalty in order not to block urgent and important questions that we have in front of us right now.”

Most other parties don’t want a conservative-led government. Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez said his party wants to change Rajoy’s government and would vote no in a confidence vote.

“We are the second political force in the country,” said Sanchez,” but we are the first political force for the Spaniards who on June 26 voted to change things in this country, who said they did not want Mariano Rajoy as prime minister of our country, therefore I let the King Felipe VI, our head of state, know that the Socialist Party will not support something they want to change.”

Rajoy will find it tough to secure a majority for a second term without at least an abstention from the Socialists.

Negotiations to form a viable coalition have so far failed, despite four rounds of formal consultations with the king.

Insiders hope that a September deadline to pass next year’s budget will help focus minds.

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