Spanish King Felipe VI held a fourth round of talks with the leaders of three main opposition political parties on Thursday to end a political stalemate in his country, as a new government has been unable to form for seven months.
The country has suffered political uncertainty since a general election in December 2015, which had a historical significance in signalling the end of Spain’s traditionally two-party system but failed to produce a new government.
In 2015 general election, the conservative Popular Party (PP) won 28.72 percent of the vote while the anti-austerity Podemos, liberal Ciudadano and the Socialist parties received 20.66 percent, 13.93 percent, 22.01 percent, respectively.
The result led to another election held on June 26.
Incumbent Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative Popular Party gained 137 seats in the 350-seat parliament but does not have enough to form a new government as other parties are not willing to back his candidacy for the premiership.
Following Thursday’s meeting, the three main opposition parties told reporters that they would still not back Rajoy.
The king is trying to find a candidate with parliamentary support as soon as possible to end the political uncertainty and avoid a possible third election this autumn.
@ingergeek Spain has 4 - 5 parties... six months without govt and now looking at THIRD general election. Doesn't have all the answers
— Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) 26 Temmuz 2016
If the king can not build a consensus in support of Rajoy, he could propose another leader who has a better chance to win the trust of other parties.
According to Alberto Rivera, leader of the centrist Ciudadanos party, Rajoy should resign to give an opportunity for a new Popular Party leader to try to form a coalition to end the current crisis.