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New Spain elections 'most likely' in June, says prime minister

After weeks of political deadlock, acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says Spain will "most likely" schedule new elections for June. Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez called Rajoy's comments "pitiful."

In Brussels on Thursday, acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told his British counterpart, David Cameron, that Spain would "most likely" hold new elections on June 26.

Though it came out of December's elections with a plurality of seats, Rajoy's conservative Popular Party (PP) lost its absolute majority in the lower chamber.

"The most likely thing is that there will be elections on June 26," Rajoy said in comments caught on camera in Brussels as he met Cameron at an EU summit.

"We have an investiture ceremony in March, and I believe it will not work out," Rajoy said.

Socialist Party chief Pedro Sanchez, who is attempting to garner support for a minority government, took to Twitter to comment on Rajoy's remarks.

"I am working for Spain to have a progressive government while others in Brussels already talk of new elections. Pitiful," wrote Sanchez in a tweet.

Sanchez faces difficulties in including one of the two new upstart parties - anti-austerity Podemos and business-friendly Ciudadanos - that came in third and fourth in the general election.

Podemos has outright rejected building a minority government with the Socialists if Sanchez also reaches out to Ciudadanos, which the leftists consider right of center.

A parliamentary vote of confidence is scheduled for early March.

ls/cmk (AFP, AP)