The leader of Spain's governing center-right Popular Party, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, on Monday announced that he will hold a round of contacts with other parties to explore the formation of a new government that will be stable after the great political fragmentation that emerged in the national election.
The premier made his remarks after a meeting of the PP leadership at which Sunday's election results were analyzed, a vote in which the PP garnered 123 seats in the 350-member Parliament, far below the number needed to form a government without striking a deal with one or more other parties.
The Socialists will receive 90 seats in the new legislature and the leftist Podemos party 69.
Rajoy appealed to the "sense of state and responsibility" of the other parties to achieve a stable government, a government that will provide a "sensation of certainty, both within and outside Spain."
The fragmentation of the new Parliament emerging in Sunday's vote must not be the reason for political paralysis, said Rajoy, given that that would be "enormously negative for (Spain's) interests."
The intention to form a government announced by Rajoy comes shortly after a similar announcement by the Socialists, who said they would vote in Parliament against the formation of a new PP-led government, making almost impossible a scenario allowing the current prime minister to remain in power.
Rajoy avoided discussing holding new elections if a stable political pact cannot be worked out with other parties, and he said that he felt that he had the backing of his party.
Even so, former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, who attended the PP meeting on Monday, asked for the convening of a party congress because of the unfavorable election results.
Rajoy announced that he will run for reelection during the congress, which will be held once the doubts raised after the general election have been resolved.