Spainish Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez must wait yet again before he can move forward with a coalition government.
Spain's Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has failed in his first attempt to get parliament's backing to form a coalition government.
As expected, Socialist Party leader Sánchez fell short of securing an absolute majority, receiving only 166 of the 176 votes required.
Now the same proposal must be put to the vote again within 48 hours of the first ballot, giving Sánchez until Tuesday afternoon to secure enough support to end eight-months of political gridlock.
And that's by no means guaranteed, Euronews journalist Manuel Terradillos told Good Morning Europe:
"The results are so tight that the situation is still tense. Because the idea was that once the big agreements were made - with the Catalan and with Unidas Podemos - some of the little regional parties would also follow it but because of the concessions made to Catalan separatists, well, they don't like it, so there's just one vote different and the situation is so tight that one single vote could change it all."
Earlier this week, Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias, who leads the far-left Unidas Podemos, or United We Can Party, restated their intention to form the first coalition government in Spain’s recent history.
On Tuesday, Sánchez will only need a simple majority - more yes than no votes - to constitute a government.
He is likely to succeed after the ERC - Catalonia’s largest separatist party - promised to abstain.
But the ERC support has come at a heavy political price for Sánchez, who has agreed to talks between Spain and Catalonia over the future of the region.
Spain's right-wing parties say in doing so, he's putting the nation's territorial integrity at risk, despite his promise not to allow a Catalan referendum on independence in violation of the Spanish constitution.
Long road ahead
Even if Pedro Sánchez manages to form a new government tomorrow, there's still a long road ahead for Pedro Sanchez, says Euronews' Manuel Terradillos:
"We have the budget from 2018 and there's no simple majority for that. It will be absolute majority for that. So, it will be tough and it's still to be seen if we have a stable government in the next month."
To watch the full interview with Manuel Terradillos, click on the media player above.