A split parliament reflecting a tricky political landscape in Spain held its first session on Wednesday (Jan. 13).
It was the first time Spain’s lower house of parliament reconvened since last month’s inconclusive general election.
Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy lost his absolute majority in the vote, which brought two new parties — the leftist Podemos and the liberal Ciudadanos — into the house.
And for the first time in 40 years of Spanish democracy, the house’s speaker does not come from the party with the most votes. Instead lawmakers chose a Socialist, Patxi Lopez.
It’s the first deal reached by rival parties still locked in talks to form a government.
Spain has elected a new speaker— Fiona Govan (@fifimadrid) January 13, 2016
Congreso_Es</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/patxilopez">patxilopez Now if only forming a government would be quite so easy pic.twitter.com/pbWrNMk3dE
Rajoy has called for a broad coalition between his People’s Party (PP), the Socialists (PSOE) and Ciudadanos.
Rajoy, who will ask for a vote of confidence at the end of this month to remain Prime Minister, said the coalition should last four years, to enable Spain to reform itself and strengthen its economy.
Podemos, which would be excluded from the coalition, still managed to draw everyone’s attention when Carolina Bescansa, who was a candidate for speaker,showed up with her baby boy, Diego… and started breastfeeding him in parliament.