Spanish Parliament convenes but still no sign of government

MADRID (AP) — Deputies elected in Spain’s November elections, the fourth in as many years, are taking their seats in the national Parliament but there is still no clear sign that a government can be formed soon and fresh elections avoided.

The 350 deputies will elect a House Speaker who will later meet with King Felipe VI. The king will then meet party leaders over the coming weeks in the hope of choosing a candidate he deems capable of forming a government.

Incumbent Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is best positioned, his party having won the most seats — 120 —in the election.

He has signed a deal with the left-wing United We Can party, which won 32, but they are still way off the 176-seat majority needed in the chamber.

Spanish caretaker Prime Minster Pedro Sanchez and caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Equality Carmen Calvo during the opening session of the Spanish parliament in Madrid. PHOTO: AFP