PSOE, Unidas Podemos sign preliminary agreement for coalition government

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-13 01:50:13|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MADRID, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Acting Prime Minister and Spanish Socialist Workers' Party leader (PSOE) Pedro Sanchez, and Pablo Iglesias, leader of the left-wing Unidas-Podemos party, on Tuesday signed a "pre-agreement" for the two parties to form a coalition government in Spain.

The preliminary agreement, which is based on the "loyalty" of both parties to "form a stable government for four years", was signed in the Spanish Congress building in Madrid just two days after Sunday's general election.

"The Spanish people have spoken and now it corresponds to the parties to respond to their will," said Sanchez, who said the agreement was "exciting."

"The commitment of both parties was to find a proposal to unblock the political situation in Spain," he added.

"As I said on election night after hearing the results, what was a historic opportunity in April has now become a historic need. I am happy to be here with Pedro Sanchez to sign a preliminary agreement to form a progressive government in Spain," said Iglesias.

The failure of talks between the two parties after the April election led directly to Sunday's vote in which the Socialists were again the winners, but with their representation in the 350 seat Congress of Deputies (the lower chamber in Spain's parliament) reducing from 123 seats to 120.

Sunday also saw Unidos-Podemos' number of deputies cut from 42 to 35, due mainly to the new leftist party Mas Pais which claimed three seats and nearly 600,000 votes.

The right wing Peoples' Party won 88 seats, while the extreme right wing Vox party saw a big leap in support and won 52 seats from the 24 the party claimed in April. Those gains came as a result of the collapse of the center-right Ciudadanos party, which went from 57 deputies down to just 10, causing their leader Albert Rivera to resign from his position on Monday.

Despite Tuesday's preliminary agreement, the total of 155 deputies that the PSOE and Unidos Podemos now have is still well short of the 176 seats needed to give Sanchez a majority and he still needs to find support from some of Spain's smaller parties, such as Mas Pais, and the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) in order to win an investiture vote.