The leader of the center-right People's Party has vowed to put aside differences to form a new government. The king's mandate marks a likely end to more than 10 months of political deadlock.
Spanish King Felipe VI on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy, leader of the center-right People's Party (PP), to form a new government following nearly a year of political impasse, the acting premier said in a statement.
"I accepted the task," Rajoy told reporters after meeting Spain's king. The Spanish prime minister added that he would submit his candidacy for a parliamentary vote of confidence.
Rajoy is likely to pass the vote of confidence after the Socialist party agreed to abstain in the vote, which would pave the way for the PP leader to assemble a minority government.
However, the center-left Socialists warned that they would not rubber stamp legislation put forth by Rajoy's party.
"I guarantee you that if I am invested in the vote, I will work from the first day so that this government is stable and long-lasting," Rajoy said. "I am perfectly aware of the difficulties that governing in minority entrails."
"I hope and trust that the days that remain of this week will put an end to this era and initiate a period based not in ultimatums, but in dialogue and understanding," he added.
The move marks the possible end of a 10 month political deadlock following two inconclusive elections. Although Rajoy's PP won both elections, the center-right party lacked an outright majority.
Parliamentary Speaker Ana Pastor said the investiture session would begin Wednesday, paving the way for a first vote the following day, with a final one scheduled for Saturday. Parliament has an October 31 deadline to make if they want to block a new round of nationwide elections.
Rajoy enjoys support from 170 lawmakers, including 137 from his own party. Despite infighting in the Socialist party, the acting premier is set to have more in favor than against in the second round, which would guarantee his place as the leader of a minority government.
ls/rc (AP, Reuters, EFE)