Spain: Political wrangling continues after regional votes

Spain: Political wrangling continues after regional votes

The poor results for the 137-year-old social democrat group will make it harder for leader Pedro Sanchez to form a coalition with Podemos and market-friendly Ciudadanos at national level, something he failed to do in any case following December's general election. The shooting was the latest in a string of deadly security lapses in Jordan.

Followers of the Basque party EH Bildu during the regional elections at the Basque region in San Sebastian, Spain, on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016.

Rajoy's party won 41 out of 75 seats in the regional parliament in Galicia - equal to its share in the outgoing assembly - with over 95 percent of ballots counted.

Sunday's victory in Galicia, the PP's traditional stronghold, will strengthen Rajoy's authority within his party, while his result in the Basque region will give him leverage in negotiations to form a government in Madrid - Rajoy could, in theory, give Basque leader Inigo Urkullu a majority in his regional assembly in exchange for the Nationalists' five votes in the Spanish parliament.

He said that at the most, poor regional results for the Socialists - already reeling from their worst-ever showing in the June election, with 85 seats - may put pressure on the socialists to abstain in a future investiture vote at the national parliament and let Rajoy form a minority government.

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"It's hard to imagine that the Galician and Basque elections are going to change the situation at the national level", Navarra University Public Opinion Professor Manuel Martin Algarra said. Unless the socialist leader can forge a viable coalition with Podemos and others, he could find his position challenged.

The conservative Popular Party saw strong results in Galicia and the Socialists suffered big losses in both regions. If lawmakers fail to choose a prime minister by the end of October the country will be headed for an unprecedented third election in a year.

Spain has never had a coalition government since its return to democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

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