February 2, 2016 / 7:23 PM / 2 years ago

Spain's king picks socialist chief to try to form government

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s King Felipe has nominated socialist chief Pedro Sanchez to lead talks with political parties to form a government and seek the confidence of parliament, the speaker of the lower house Patxi Lopez announced on Tuesday.

Spain's Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez arrives to a news conference at Parliament in Madrid, Spain, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Speaking after a brief meeting with the king, Lopez said Sanchez would need at least three weeks, possibly a month, before a first parliamentary confidence vote can be organized.

Under Spain’s constitution, a two-month deadline for the formation of a government comes into effect once this first vote takes place. If that deadline expires a new national election is called.

Reporting by Julien Toyer; Editing by Alison Williams

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