SPAIN’S acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has accepted a mandate from King Felipe VI to try and form a government.

The PSOE leader will begin negotiating with the other parties in the country’s bitterly divided parliament on Monday.

Sanchez is set to speak to the conservative PP party leader Pablo Casado, as well as the centre-right Ciudadanos, which lost its leader in the General Election last month.

Spain’s national vote saw historic gains for far right party Vox, while the overall picture was a hung parliament.

NEGOTIATOR: Sanchez has accepted a mandate from the King to form a government and will now begin talking to parties from across Spain’s political spectrum

The left wing PSOE and far left Podemos struck a deal in the days after the election, with the parties only taking a combined 155 seats, a shortfall of the required 176.

A total of 13 seats taken by Catalan separatist ERC, made the party a kingmaker and forced Sanchez to negotiate with its politicians.

ERC leader Oriol Junqueras, was among nine Catalan separatist leaders jailed over the illegal independence referendum held in 2017.

His party set out a list of demands, including ‘unconditional dialogue’ between the Spanish and Catalan regional governments.

Oriol Junqueras
JAILED: Oriol Junqueras, the ERC leader, was jailed for his role in the illegal 2017 independence referendum, but Sanchez will need his party’s support

However Sanchez has since issued a strong warning to the ERC, urging it to take ‘responsibility’.

King Felipe, who is facilitating talks, met 12 different parties on Tuesday, but it is expected to take several weeks before MPs can vote on a new parliament.

“Spaniards are fed up with anger and clashes, they want to believe in politics again,” said Sanchez, “they want consensus and stability.”

He added: “Voters were clear on November 10, they want the Socialists to govern.

“There is no other possible alternative, Spain needs to move forward, we all need to do our part.”

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