On Sunday, Spain's Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez failed in a first attempt to get Parliament's backing to form a government, leaving him two days to secure support to end an eight-month political gridlock.
Sanchez has been acting prime minister since a first inconclusive election in April and November did not produce a conclusive result. He needed an absolute majority of at least 176 votes in his favor in the 350-seat house to be confirmed as prime minister but failed to get it.
He obtained 166 votes in favor and 165 against, with 18 abstentions, while one lawmaker did not attend.
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