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With just a week to go until the deadline to invest a new prime minister or have Spain automatically hold a new general election, king Felipe VI has concluded, after speaking to all the political parties represented in the Congress, that there is no candidate with the necessary support to be successful. He confirmed that in a press release this evening after two days of talks which concluded with a meeting with Pedro Sánchez.

Almost six months after he won the most seats in April's election, the acting prime minister hasn't managed to reach an agreement with either the right or the left. Spain will most likely now head for a new general election on 10th November, its fourth since 2015.

The king's statement is almost identical to the one he issued in early 2016, after the results of the 2015 election also failed to give rise to a government. He states that "after receiving the information communicated to him by the representatives designated by the political groups with parliamentary representation who have appeared in the talks, [the king] has confirmed that there does not exist a candidate who enjoys the necessary support for the Congress [...] to grant them its confidence." According to the Spanish Constitution, it's up to the king to nominate a candidates for an investiture debate to the speaker of the Congress.


In a speech this evening, Sánchez said he had "tried by all possible means and they've made it impossible for us". He emphasised more than once that his objective was a "progressive government whose stability doesn't depend on pro-independence parties". The most plausible option for a government over the last few months appeared to be some sort of coalition with left-wing Podemos, but the parties could not reach an agreement over what role Podemos should have in the cabinet.

At the last moment yesterday, Cs' Albert Rivera proposed his party could abstain in an investiture vote, which would be sufficient for Sánchez to be elected in a second round of voting, in exchange for certain commitments. Sánchez said he already met the conditions; Rivera disagreed with Sánchez's assertion that the new government in Navarre is pro-Constitution and should be acceptable to him.

The deadline to avoid a new election is 23rd September. Time is tight and, barring a notable change in the position of one of the larger parties, it appears that day will mark the start of the electoral countdown.