Spain acting PM faces uncertain 2nd vote to form government

July 25, 2019 - 12:59 am

MADRID (AP) — Spain's caretaker prime minister has a second chance Thursday to win the endorsement of Parliament and form a government.

Pedro Sánchez needs more "Yes" than "No" votes from the 350-member lower house. On Tuesday, he failed to reach the more difficult threshold of a majority of all lawmakers.

His Socialists have 123 lawmakers and are struggling to strike a last-minute deal with the far-left United We Can party to forge a coalition government.

Acting vice prime minister Carmen Calvo told Cadena SER radio just hours before the vote that "it has not been possible" for her Socialists to reach an agreement United We Can.

Calvo and United We Can's lead negotiator Pablo Echenique have said that the key stumbling block is the number of Cabinet position the Socialists are willing to cede to their would-be partners.

Even if United We Can comes on board, Sánchez would still need more help from smaller parties.

A failure by Sánchez would start a countdown to Sept. 23 for lawmakers to form a government or face another election, which would be Spain's fourth in five years.

Sánchez could try again during that two-month period, especially given that the parties on the right cannot secure a majority by themselves.

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This story was previously corrected to show that Calvo is acting vice prime minister not acting vice president.