August 29, 2016 / 12:22 PM / 2 years ago

Spain's Socialists to oppose re-election of PM Rajoy in Aug. 31 vote

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s Socialist leader said on Monday his party would not back acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s re-election and end an eight-month political impasse after meeting him for the final time before a confidence vote in parliament on Aug. 31.

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy reacts during a news conference after a meeting with Spain's Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez (unseen) at parliament in Madrid, Spain, August 29, 2016. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

“It is Mr Rajoy’s responsibility to reach the 176 votes (he needs), exclusively Mr Rajoy’s and not the Socialists’,” Pedro Sanchez told reporters.

Rajoy’s center-right People’s Party is seven seats short of the majority it needs in the vote after reaching an agreement with centrist party Ciudadanos on Sunday. The Socialists’ abstention would be enough to enable a PP-led minority government, but so far they have refused.

Reporting by Angus Berwick; Editing by Catherine Bennett

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