Span­ish So­cial­ist leader Pe­dro Sanchez re­signs

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

The leader of Spain’s op­po­si­tion So­cial­ists, Pe­dro Sanchez, has re­signed, in a move that could end months of po­lit­i­cal dead­lock. Mr Sanchez stood down af­ter los­ing a vote by the party’s fed­eral com­mit­tee over sup­port­ing the for­ma­tion of a con­ser­va­tive-led gov­ern­ing coali­tion - a move he had strongly op­posed. The past week had al­ready seen al­most half of the party’s ex­ec­u­tive re­sign. Spain has been in a po­lit­i­cal limbo for the past nine months. The re­sults of a gen­eral elec­tion in De­cem­ber 2015 left a hung par­lia­ment. The ma­jor­ity Pop­u­lar Party un­der act­ing Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Ra­joy has sought to form a coali­tion govern­ment but Mr Sanchez re­peat­edly blocked their at­tempts. In at­tempt to break the stale­mate, a sec­ond elec­tion was held on 26 June but, again, no party won an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity. The So­cial­ist Party has long been di­vided be­tween sup­port­ers of Mr Sanchez and those who want to end the stale­mate by sup­port­ing a coali­tion. Many del­e­gates at Satur­day’s fed­eral com­mit­tee meet­ing at party head­quar­ters in Madrid had turned up hop­ing to force Mr Sanchez out. On Wed­nes­day, 17 of the 35 mem­bers of the PSOE ex­ec­u­tive re­signed in protest at Mr Sanchez’s stance.

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