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It will come down to the wire during Thursday's parliamentary vote to see if Prime Minister Sanchez will get the Podemos support he needs to stay on as premiere.
Tension rose between acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists and the far-left Podemos party Wednesday, with one side saying the demands of Podemos were unacceptable and the other seeing no coalition deal before parliament's vote on Sanchez Thursday.
Sanchez, who won the most seats in an April parliamentary election but fell short of a majority, needs the support of Podemos, as well as the abstention or support of at least one other smaller party to be confirmed as premiere.
On Tuesday, Unidas Podemos lawmakers abstained to vote, while Catalonia's pro-independence party ERC voted against Sanchez.
The second vote Thursday requires only a simple majority. With the support of Podemos' 42 lawmakers, and a few others from small regional parties, he could get through.
If Sanchez is not elected, new votes could be held in September. A senior source in Podemos told Reuters: “We’re going to September.”
If there is no government by late September, a repeat election would be held in November.
In theory this would still give the two parties two months to negotiate a deal. However, earlier this month, the Socialists said they would give up trying to install Sanchez as prime minister if he fails to be confirmed in July.
Two government sources told Reuters that Podemos’ demands were “unacceptable,” pointing to a series of high-level cabinet positions demanded by the party in exchange for its support.
Government sources did not confirm to Reuters that talks had broken off between the two parties.
Still, one anonymous Socialist member, speaking of Podemos, said, “They must change their mind and hear reason.”
The vote is expected to take place around 2:30 p.m. local time Thursday and much can still change until then as it has between the two important parties of Spain over the past few days.