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Spain's socialist leader rejects Rajoy as leader

December 23, 2015

Spain's socialist leader has said his party will not support Mariano Rajoy's efforts to form a unity government. Their meeting came days after elections that saw the country divided among several different parties.

Pedro Sanchez and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Barrenechea

Pedro Sanchez, the leader of Spain's Socialist Party, said on Wednesday he would not back Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as the leader of the government, after an inconclusive weekend election.

Sanchez met with the conservative leader of the People's Party (PP) earlier on Wednesday to hear his pitch for a coalition or minority government. Rajoy took to Twitter prior to the meeting.

"Meeting with Pedro Sanchez. I am positioning myself for dialogue in order to form a stable government that gives certainty to the Spanish," he tweeted.

Emerging from the meeting, however, Sanchez informed reporters he would not participate in such a political move.

"We will not support Rajoy or the PP as the ongoing leader of our government. The Spanish want a change and want dialogue," he wrote on Twitter later.

The results of the elections on Sunday signalled the death of the two-party system in Spain, with the PP and the Socialists losing support following the rise of two fringe parties, the far-left Podemos and the centrist Ciudadanos.

blc/jm (AFP, AP)