Spain’s Socialists Reject Rajoy’s Attempt at Grand Coalition

MADRID (AP) -
Spain's acting Prime Minister and People's Party (PP) leader Mariano Rajoy attends a news conference at his party headquarters a day after a general election in Madrid, June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Spain’s acting Prime Minister and People’s Party (PP) leader Mariano Rajoy attends a news conference at his party headquarters a day after a general election in Madrid, Monday. (Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo)

Spain’s center-left Socialist party has rejected acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s proposal to form a “grand coalition” with his conservative Popular Party.

The Popular Party won 137 seats in Sunday’s unprecedented repeat vote, which was still short of the majority in the 350-seat Parliament that it enjoyed after the 2011 election.

Rajoy’s party also won the December election but no other major party was willing to help him form a government — a scenario that could happen again.

The party’s leadership was meeting Monday to review its options. Prior to that, Rajoy, 61, told Cope radio he would again push for a “grand coalition” with the Socialists, who placed second on Sunday, winning 85 seats in their worst-ever result.

But Socialist party spokesman Antonio Hernando said, “We are not going to support Rajoy’s investiture nor abstain.”