FILE - In this Tuesday, July 23, 2019 file photo, Spain's caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Spain. Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez is proposing policies including pension hikes and rent controls in a bid to win parliamentary support for a new term as prime minister, but seems likely to face a new election as he rules out a coalition with an important far-left ally. The caretaker prime minister needs the parliamentary votes of the anti-austerity Podemos (We Can) to stay in office, but its leaders say Sánchez needs to include them in his new cabinet. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, file)

Spain king seeks candidate to form gov't, avert new election

September 17, 2019 - 5:14 am

MADRID (AP) — Spain's King Felipe VI is wrapping up two days of talks with political party leaders, hoping he can find a candidate that can win parliament's backing to form a government and avert a second national election this year.

The meetings finish Tuesday when the king meets caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the Socialist Party.

Sanchez's party holds 123 seats in the 350-member lower chamber and is the top candidate, but he has been unable to garner sufficient backing.

Sanchez was to call the leaders of the three main opposition parties before meeting the king to see if they might finally support him, or at least abstain.

The deadline to form a government is Sept. 23. If no candidate can do so, an election will be held Nov. 10.

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