Written by Siddharth Kotian
22 Dec, 2015 | 10:18 am
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Monday (December 21) said he had received a democratic mandate after Sunday’s general election to try and form a government that gives political stability to Spain over the next four-year term.
“The People’s Party believes it has a responsibility and a mandate to start a dialogue and explore the viability of a stable government that can offer the necessary certainty inside and outside Spain. It is very important at this moment to be able to offer certainty first to Spaniards but also to people outside Spain, our friends and allies and also to the markets.” Rajoy told a news conference after meeting with senior leaders of his PP.
Rajoy also said he would be open minded during those talks.
“The People’s Party will address this period of dialogue with generosity, with an open mind and with an eye to the general interest of Spain which is, believe you me, the only thing I care about at the moment, ” he said.
Spain’s two biggest left-wing parties had earlier ruled out supporting a government led by the PP, complicating Rajoy’s efforts to build a coalition to stay in power after his party won the election but fell short of a majority.
Parties began staking out positions for what are expected to be weeks of complex talks on forming a government after Rajoy’s centre-right PP won most votes in Sunday’s election but fell well short of the 176 seats needed for a parliamentary majority.
Two newcomers – leftist anti-austerity Podemos (“We can”) and liberal Ciudadanos (“Citizens”) – entered the mainstream for the first time in Sunday’s parliamentary vote, ending domination by the PP and Socialists stretching back to soon after dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975.
The PP – which gets the first chance to form a government – won most votes but fell way short of a majority as millions deserted the centre-right right party and the main opposition Socialists, which finished second.
The surprise surge by Podemos – the latest of several strong showings by populist parties in European elections – gives it an influential role in coalition talks.
The inconclusive vote heralded a new era of pact-making that kicked off on Monday as party executives met to assess the implications, while nervous investors moved out of Spanish assets, sending the country’s shares lower and benchmark bond yields higher.
Albert Rivera, leader of business-friendly Ciudadanos, which won 40 seats in parliament, came out in support of a PP minority government, which would negotiate with Ciudadanos, the Socialists and Podemos to support it in votes on different laws.
But Senior Socialist official Cesar Luena repeated the party’s position on Monday that it would reject a new government led by Rajoy, as did Iglesias.
Rivera also said a left-wing coalition that could consist of up to 11 parties would not be viable.
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