Spain's Socialists and Podemos strike preliminary coalition deal

Photo: EPA Pedro Sanchez and Pablo Iglesias after reaching the deal, Madrid, 12 November.

Spanish acting Prime Minister and leader of the Socialist Party Pedro Sanchez and leader of Podemos left party Pablo Iglesias have signed on Tuesday a preliminary agreement to form a coalition government following the 10 November general elections, news wires reported from Madrid.

The Socialist Party, which won the elections with 120 seats, will need more support than the 35 seats of Podemos to pass an investiture vote in the 350-seat parliament. The election, the country’s fourth in four years, left Spain’s parliament even more fragmented than a previous ballot in April.

El Diario newspaper said that PSOE and Podemos would try to get other parties on board, including the market-friendly Ciudadanos, far-left Mas Pais and the Basque nationalist PNV. The two parties had tried and failed to strike a government deal after the April election, which had prompted Sanchez to call the repeat vote. Spanish media including La Sexta TV said that Iglesias would be deputy prime minister, something which Sanchez had refused in the post-April election talks. Sanchez had also at the time opposed a coalition government.

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