Rajoy: 3rd Vote Would Make Spain ‘Laughingstock of Europe’

August 13, 2016 Updated: August 13, 2016

MADRID—Spain’s acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warns that a third round of elections in one year would make Spain “the laughingstock of Europe” as he tries to cobble together support to form a government and end eight months of political deadlock.

Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party will decide Wednesday if it accepts the conditions that the smaller Ciudadanos party has made in return for its support. But even with Ciudadanos’ backing, Rajoy needs support from other parties and is trying to convince the Socialists — who so far have refused to support him — to come on board.

“If the Socialists stick to their position, there won’t be a government,” Rajoy said on Saturday.

The Popular Party, which has been in power since 2011, won the June 26 elections with 137 seats, 39 short of a majority in the 350-seat parliament. Ciudadanos would provide just 32 more “Yes” votes.

“We hope this is resolved soon and, above all, we hope that we don’t have new elections, because we would be the laughingstock of Europe,” Rajoy said. “It would be absolutely insane to have three elections in a year and a caretaker government for so long.”

A recent poll suggests that a third round of elections wouldn’t solve the impasse that has left Rajoy in charge of a caretaker government with limited powers since the first indecisive election in December.