Spain held general elections for the second time in six months, after several efforts to form a coalition government failed since December 2015. Mr. Rajoy’s conservative People’s Party (PP) won 137 seats, up from 123 in the December poll. Nevertheless, he still needs to form a coalition government as PP does not hold the majority of 176 seats.
Therefore, Mr. Rajoy is under pressure to find backing from the second-placed Socialists and smaller centrist (other argue right-centrist) party Ciudadanos to form a stable government.
“I have to try to reach a majority to govern because without it, it's very difficult” Rajoy told Spanish radio. “I believe that within a month we should have a deal on the basics. It would be nonsense to lose time for several more months”.
Rajoy said he would propose a coalition between the PP and its longtime Socialist opponents, who won 85 seats. Ciudadanos, which came fourth, could also join if it wanted to, he said.
“There is willingness (from the Socialists) to talk,” Rajoy said. He hoped the talks could be wrapped up by July 19 when the new parliament is operational.
However, Socialists spokesman Antonio Hernando said on Monday the party will not back acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's re-election.
“We won't support Rajoy for the investiture nor will we abstain” Hernando said, ruling out Rajoy could become Prime Minister in a minority government.
The Socialists could enable the forming of a PP minority government by abstaining in a vote of confidence in parliament to invest Rajoy as prime minister.
Separately, leader of the liberal Ciudadanos party Albert Rivera also said on Monday he would not back a government led by Rajoy.
The Socialists are opposed to joining a grand coalition with the PP but political experts say they could allow the PP to govern in minority by abstaining from votes of confidence. Taking into consideration their latest stance on Rajoy, even forming a minority government could prove to be a puzzle.