SOCIALIST PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez has refused to back Mariano Rajoy ahead of Wednesday’s investiture debate to decide Spain’s new leader.
Following a half-hour meeting with his PP rival, Sanchez affirmed his refusal to support Rajoy’s bid.
On Sunday, PP leader Rajoy signed a pact with Catalan centre-right party Ciudadanos as he looks to win an overall majority of 176 Congress delegates’ votes.
The deal with Albert Rivera’s party will bring Rajoy up to 169, with the backing of the Canaries Coalition taking him up to 170.
“Our voters voted to get rid of Rajoy,” said Sanchez.
“If we already had reasons to vote against Rajoy, after his agreement with Rivera we have even more reasons now.
“The responsibility for Mr Rajoy’s failure will be exclusively Mr Rajoy’s due to his inability to form a majority.”
Rajoy needs the PSOE to abstain to enable him to form a minority coalition with Ciudadanos.
“I will keep trying with the PSOE, which holds the key,” said Rajoy.
“I will keep trying because it’s my obligation. We urgently need to form a government because we are in an anomalous situation that is starting to undermine our credibility as a country.”
If an agreement can not be reached, Spain would face an unprecedented third election.