Spain’s ruling Socialists were weighing options for forming a new government on Monday after they won a national election but fell short of a majority in a deeply fragmented parliament that could spell prolonged political uncertainty. Playing down talk of possible coalition options, Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said the Socialists would try to govern alone, while party president Cristina Narbona said it was in no hurry to decide.
“The Socialists will try to govern on their own,” Calvo said in an interview on Cadena Ser radio. “We have more than enough (votes) to steer this ship along the course it must follow.”
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose party celebrated into the small hours after increasing their representation in Sunday’s election to 123 seats from 84, declined to comment ahead of a strategy meeting on Monday afternoon.
If he does seek a coalition partner, he could opt for a complex alliance with fellow leftists Podemos that would likely require support from at least one Catalan separatist lawmaker, or he could risk upsetting his grassroots supporters by joining forces across the political divide with centre-right Ciudadanos.
Quim Torra, the Catalan regional head and Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) member, last week threatened to withdraw parliamentary support for Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in the national parliament, but coalition ally Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC, Republican Left of Catalonia) did not back the move.