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Spain's acting PM says he is not planning for another election

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Spain's acting PM says he is not planning for another election
FILE PHOTO: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez attends a news conference after the European Union leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium, July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir   -   Copyright  Francois Lenoir(Reuters)
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MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Thursday he is not planning to call a new election in the midst of complicated, multi-party talks ahead of a parliamentary vote on his investiture on July 22-23.

“I’m not contemplating, and am not working on the assumption of, another election,” Sanchez said during an interview with national television.

Sanchez’s Socialist party (PSOE) won 123 seats in the election, far short of parliamentary majority in the 350-seat lower house, forcing them to find backing from other parties. Spain’s right wing parties, People’s Party (PP), Ciudadanos and Vox, have ruled out supporting Sanchez.

On July 22-23, Sanchez needs to win an absolute majority or at least 176 votes. If that fails, within two days he must seek a simple majority – where more lawmakers back him than oppose him or abstain – to be able to form the next government.

Talks between the PSOE and other political parties on the new government are stalled, with the Socialists and their closest allies, far-left Unidas Podemos, failing to reach an accord on an alliance again on Tuesday.

Sanchez, who came to power in June 2018 after parliament ousted the PP over a fraud scandal, is currently acting prime minister after winning the April elections.

On Tuesday, PSOE’s parliamentary spokeswoman said they would give up trying to install Sanchez as prime minister if he fails to win the two investiture votes this month, raising the prospect of a new election in November, the fourth one in four years.

(Reporting by Emma Pinedo; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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