King asks Socialist leader Sanchez to form a government

  • King Felipe VI met with acting PM Mariano Rajoy of the People's Party and Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday - the King asked Mr. Sanchez to form a government. 
  • Sanchez accepted the invitation and said that in his negotiations with other parties, which will begin on Wednesday, he would be looking for solutions to Spain's economic problems rather than for seats. *

  • He said that after four years of the People's Party, Spain was faced with great challenges that would require him to look to the left and the right of the political spectrum. 

  • Whether PSOE seeks a formal coalition with the likes of left wing Podemos and the centrist Ciudadanos or opts for a more informal arrangement that would allow it to win confidence measures in parliament remains to be seen. 

  • On January 22nd, the King asked Mr. Rajoy to form a government as his party won the most seats in December's election despite losing its majority in parliament. 

  • Rajoy declined, saying he did not 'yet' have the numbers.

Socialists to consult members on forming Spanish government

Schedule for leaders to meet with King Felipe VI

  • Pedro Sanchez, the leader of the PSOE who is due to meet King Felipe VI on Tuesday, said on Saturday that he would consult the party's 'Federal Committee' and grass-root members on any possible coalition with Podemos or Ciudadnos. +

  • Mr. Sanchez once again ruled out doing a deal with People's Party leader and acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, saying he hoped to form a 'progressive' government if given the opportunity. 

  • PSOE, the Spanish Socialists Workers Party, will hold elections in May to decide whether Sanchez should remain as the party's leader. +

Corruption scandal hits PP amid ongoing government talks

  • Police in Valencia arrested 24 people, many linked to the People's Party, on Tuesday in an anti-corruption investigation. +

  • Among those arrested was Alfonso Rus, the former president of the People's Party in Valencia. 

  • It's been over a month since December 20th's indecisive election, which saw acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his People's Party win the most seats but lose their majority. 

  • Mr. Rajoy has been unable to win over any of the opposition parties, with the leader of the socialist PSOE, Pedro Sanchez, refusing to support him. 

  • On Friday, Rajoy turned down King Felipe's invitation to form a government saying he did not 'yet' have the numbers for a majority but insisting that he still wished to be prime minister. 

  • King Felipe VI was due to begin another round of talks aimed at facilitating the formation of a new government on Wednesday, while he will meet with the four main party leaders on Monday and Tuesday next week. +

  • Podemos, the left wing party led by Pablo Iglesias, wants to form a government with PSOE. 

  • Mr. Iglesias, who wrote an opinion piece for El Pais over the weekend entitled 'A government of change', has proposed he be deputy prime minister and Mr. Sanchez be prime minister under a Podemos - PSOE coalition. 

Rajoy declines invitation to form new government

  • Spain's acting prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, declined an invitation from King Felipe VI to form a new government on Friday.
  • Mr. Rajoy was extended the invitation because his People's Party won the most seats in December's general election. 

  • However, the PP lost its majority and Mr. Rajoy has been unable to reach agreement with any opposition parties over a coalition government. 

  • Pedro Sanchez, the leader of the second largest party, PSOE, has refused to meet with Rajoy. 

  • Speaking after the news broke, Rajoy said he still wished to remain prime minister but simply did not yet have the votes. +

  • A new round of talks will be held next Wednesday according to a statement from King's office. +

  • On Friday, the left wing Podemos proposed a coalition with PSOE under which Pedro Sanchez would be prime minister and Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias would be deputy prime minister. 

The key players

Spanish parliament returns amid ongoing coalition talks

  • Spain's parliament sits on Wednesday for the first time since December's inconclusive general election in which Prime Minister Rajoy's People's Party lost its majority but still won the most seats. 

  • In the weeks since the December 20th vote, Mr. Rajoy has been struggling to reach an agreement with any of the opposition parties to form a government. 

  • In recent days there has been speculation that the socialist PSOE party could form an alliance with Podemos - they would be just short of the 176 seats needed for an overall majority but would likely have enough seats (159) to govern.