August 9, 2019 / 10:16 AM / 8 days ago

Spain's Sanchez to meet with Podemos, others to seek backing for government

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks during a brief news conference after his traditional summer meeting with King Felipe at Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca, Spain August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Enrique Calvo

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday he would meet next month with far-left Unidas Podemos and regional parties including Catalan separatists, in a bid to strike a deal on forming a government and avoiding snap elections.

Last month Sanchez, whose Socialist Party finished first in an inconclusive national election in April, twice failed to garner a parliamentary majority in support of his administration after talks to form a coalition government with Podemos collapsed.

“At the end of August or beginning of September, we will be meeting with different political forces that could be open to supporting a confirmation of the Socialists (in office),” Sanchez told journalists.

He has previously ruled out making another attempt to form a coalition with Podemos and would in any case also need the cooperation of other parties in order to govern.

Sanchez has spent this week meeting with unions, business associations, environmentalists and cultural groups in hopes of garnering support for a third parliamentary vote.

On Friday he named the Catalan and Basque nationalists among the parties he hoped would support him this time.

He has until late September to be confirmed as premier or put forward another candidate for the job. Failing that, a new election will be called for Nov. 10.

Reporting by Jose Elías Rodríguez and Ashifa Kassam, editing by Andrés González and John Stonestreet

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