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Negotiations stall as Spain's acting PM Sanchez seeks support for swearing-in

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Negotiations stall as Spain's acting PM Sanchez seeks support for swearing-in
FILE PHOTO: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks at a news conference after a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo   -   Copyright  Francois Lenoir(Reuters)
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MADRID (Reuters) – Negotiations to form a government in Spain stalled on Tuesday as the leftist Podemos party and acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists said they remained at odds, raising the possibility of repeat elections two months after an inconclusive vote.

Sanchez’s Socialists won April elections but failed to secure a majority, meaning they require the support of several smaller parties to form a government. That is proving difficult in Spain’s increasingly fragmented political landscape.

The Socialists, seeking to rule in minority, have refused Podemos’ demand for a coalition government, leading to a deadlock in talks.

With neither side giving ground, Podemos refused to rule out voting against Sanchez’s candidacy after Tuesday’s meeting, a Socialist source told Reuters.

A Podemos source said the meeting showed that Sanchez remained undecided whether he wished to form a pact with the leftist parties or rely on support from conservatives to be sworn in.

Spain’s Socialists have promised to move forward with the swearing-in vote in July, which will trigger a two-month countdown to form a government.

If they cannot win guarantees of parliamentary support from other parties, further elections will take place.

(Reporting by Belen Carreno; Writing by Sam Edwards; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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