Spain may face third election in less than year, PM warns

a person's hand sorting through voting cards, December 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Spain had elections in December and June, both with narrow results and no clear majority

Voters in Spain could face a third trip to the polls in less than a year, the prime minister has warned.

The two parties with the biggest share of the latest vote have been in talks for seven months but have not agreed on forming a government.

The Socialists (PSOE) refuse to back the largest party, the Popular Party (PP). Elections in December and June gave no clear majority to any party.

PM Mariano Rajoy said holding a third election would be "nonsense".

His Popular Party remains the biggest in the country, but has lost its absolute majority.

Last week, the king of Spain asked Mr Rajoy to try to form a new government.

Speaking after a fruitless meeting with the head of the PSOE, Pedro Sanchez, on Tuesday, Mr Rajoy said: "I ask him to unlock the situation and I think it is possible to do this.

"It is necessary and it is possible. I will do everything to avoid the scenario of another election."

Before the meeting, Mr Sanchez said: "The Socialist Party is the alternative to the Popular Party and, therefore, the Socialist Party will not take part in any grand coalition.

"We will not support what we want to change."

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