King Felipe calls for private negotiations in the political standoff that hangs over Spain

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© Mariano Rajoy, Presidente del Gobierno de España / Flickr
King Felipe and acting Prime Minister Rajoy.

King Felipe VI has stepped into the political deadlock in Spain to try to resolve the current stalemate in forming a new government. 

The crisis will be a huge challenge for King Felipe, 47 and he will no doubt be looking to renew the popularity of the royal family after recent royal scandals have been hitting the headlines. 

Currently the Spanish government is operating under the lead of acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as there is a hung parliament with no clear party winning enough votes to form a new government independently. 

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King Felipe has stated that he has decided not to hold a third round of negotiations to form a new Spanish government for the time being and urges the parties to negotiate between themselves before a new vote is held. There have already been two previous rounds of talks which have failed to produce a new prime minister. 

On Friday March 4, Pedro Sanchez failed for the second time to win the confidence of MPs in congress, losing by 219 – 131 votes. 

If there is still a deadlock two months after this first vote, the king must call fresh elections.

“It is a very delicate moment for the king because if political parties do not provide him with a solution by coming to an agreement, he must take decisions,” said Jose Apezarena, author of a number of books on King Felipe.  

On Monday March 7, the king began talks with the political leaders to help end the impasse. 

December´s election saw no outright majority in parliament. Acting Prime Minister Rajoy’s People´s Party won the most seats, 123 out of 350 – but didn´t gain enough for a majority.  

PSOE (Spanish socialist worker’s party) came in second with 90 seats and two new parties, which gained votes from disgruntled voters angered over corruption in politics, high unemployment and economic inequality characterised by Podemos and centre-right Ciudadanos. 

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