Mariano Rajoy Refuses King's Request To Form A New Spanish Government

Mariano Rajoy Refuses King's Request To Form A New Spanish Government
Fecha de publicación: 
22 January 2016
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"During the course of the last consultation", said the statement: "with Mr. Mariano Rajoy Brey, His Majesty the King invited him to be the candidate for Prime Minister of the government. Mr. Mariano Rajoy Brey thanked His Majesty the King for said invitation, which he declined".

"At this time I am not in a condition to do so: not only do I not have a majority of votes in favour, I have an overall, accredited majority against me, 180 seats at least", said Mr. Rajoy during a press conference after his meeting with the King.

"I maintain my candidacy to become Prime Minister but I do not yet have the support needed to do so", he added: "I have not said no to my appointment", he said: "I have told him I do not have the support", explaining that he did not intend to call a vote of confidence only to lose it "and set the clock ticking" for new elections in two months time.

"I do not yet have a majority of votes in favour."

Asked if he had spoken to Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez about support or this morning's offer from Podemos, Mr. Rajoy said "I have not spoken to him, he has refused to speak to me".

The statement from the Royal Household also said King Felipe would meet the Speaker of the Spanish Congress, Patxi López, on Monday, January 25 to organise the start of a new, second, round of consultations with political parties, which would begin on Wednesday, January 27.

Mr. Rajoy's was received by King Felipe at 5 p.m., bringing to an end a week of first-round talks between different party leaders and the Spanish monarch about the possibility of putting together a new government following an inconclusive general election result on December 20 that left no party close to an overall majority.

On Thursday, Albert Rivera said Ciudadanos might abstain in favour of either the PP or the PSOE if those parties committed to policies and reforms that brought about major structural changes to the Spanish political system.

Mr. Rajoy said on Thursday he was "evidently" going to tell His Majesty he wanted to form a new Popular Party government: "in the situation we are in, a bit of sense and good judgement will do us good".

The parliamentary maths, though, are not on his side, the Popular Party having just 122 seats out of the 350 total in the Spanish Congress (lower house).

On Friday morning, Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias stunned Spain and the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) by announcing his party was ready to enter a left-wing coalition government with Pedro Sánchez as Prime Minister and Mr. Iglesias as Deputy Prime Minister.

"We understand it would be reasonable for Pedro Sánchez to become Prime Minister, and that it would be reasonable for us to [have] the Deputy Prime Minister", said Mr. Iglesias.

Mr. Sánchez, after his meeting with the King at midday on Friday, stalled for time and said he would look at options for a progressive coalition if and when Mariano Rajoy failed to put together a new Popular Party government.

"Podemos and PSOE voters would not understand it if Iglesias and I did not seek to understand each other. If Rajoy fails, we will try", he said.

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