MADRID, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday announced an early general election for the country on April 28.
The Socialist Party (PSOE) leader made the announcement in a statement to the press from the Palace of Moncloa in Madrid less than 48 hours after his government's proposals for the 2019 budget were defeated in parliament.
"After talking with my ministers in a cabinet meeting, I propose dissolving parliament" in early March, read the statement, adding that King Felipe VI has been informed of the decision.
Early reports said another choice was May 26, when the country will hold local, regional and European elections.
Sanchez took office on June 1, 2018 after ousting the People's Party government of Mariano Rajoy in a surprise no-confidence vote in parliament.
Despite the PSOE having just 85 members in the 350-seat Congress, Sanchez had previously depended on the support of other small regional parties to pass legislation and vowed to see out his mandate until 2020.
However, Sanchez failed to convince Catalan parties to support the PSOE's budget proposal this week.
"After almost nine months of progress which has been good for the Spanish, this week we saw the budget blocked," explained the prime minister, adding the budget defeat left him with a choice to "do nothing and work with a budget that isn't ours" or call for a new mandate.
"I choose the latter," he said.
Latest opinion polls imply that although Sanchez's party will win the most votes in a forthcoming election, the right-wing People's Party, Ciudadanos, and the extreme right-wing Vox will win enough votes and seats to be able to form a coalition government.