The Spanish king has dissolved the parliament and set a new general election for next month after legislators chosen in an inconclusive December vote failed to form a government.
King Felipe VI signed the decree in the presence of Parliament Speaker Patxi López at La Zarzuela Palace in Madrid on Tuesday after the deadline for establishing a new coalition government expired at midnight on Monday. He also called a snap election for June 26.
In the general elections of December 20, 2015, no party won enough seats to form a government. Spain’s ruling Popular Party, under the leadership of acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, lost its parliamentary majority and won just 123 seats in the country’s 350-member lower house of parliament.
The Socialists could only secure 90 seats and came second, followed by two newcomers, the far-left Podemos and allies with 69 seats, and the center-right Ciudadanos that won just 40 seats.
During the last four months, neither of the parties came to an agreement to form a coalition government and thus failed to agree on the country’s next prime minister. Since December, a caretaker government led by Rajoy has administered the country.
Opinion polls suggest a new election would do little to resolve the political deadlock and could mean more months of political paralysis and possibly even more elections.
Spain has never had a coalition government.