SPAIN’S caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Monday agreed to a face-to-face meeting with opposition Popular Party leader Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, as the conservative politician continues to seek support to be voted into power in the wake of the inconclusive July 23 general election. 

The announcement comes after the PP made it clear that Feijoo wanted to ‘know the position’ of the Socialist Party chief ahead of an investiture vote in Congress that has been called for September 26 and 27. 

The PP won the July 23 snap election but fell well short of a majority in the lower house of parliament. Not even with the votes of the far-right party Vox does Feijoo have the 176 votes he needs in the 350-seat chamber for his bid for power to prosper. Opinion polls had predicted that a PP-Vox coalition was the most likely outcome of the election.

Feijoo will count on the votes of Vox at the investiture vote, as well as two votes in total from two small parties. But due to the extreme policies of the far-right group, no other party is willing to lend its support and vote the Galician politician in as prime minister. 

“It will be extraordinarily difficult to win the investiture vote, but not impossible,” a PP representative told Spanish media outlets on Monday. 

“We will speak with everyone except with Vox,” sources from the Socialist Party stated in response to the PP’s call for the bilateral talks between Sanchez and Feijoo. 

Spain’s King Felipe VI proposed Feijoo as the candidate for an investiture vote after a round of talks last week with the country’s political parties. He did so on the basis that the PP was the most-voted party, and in the knowledge that Feijoo’s bid is almost certainly doomed to fail. 

Sanchez, meanwhile, whose party also fell well short of a majority at the July 23 elections, can count on the support of new leftist alliance Sumar as well as a number of smaller parties. 

It is still far from clear, however, whether he can muster the 176 votes needed for an absolute majority. To do so, he will have to secure the backing of pro-independence party Together for Catalonia, which is seeking major concessions in return in its bid for the region’s independence from the rest of Spain.

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