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Spain's Socialist leader loses first vote to become PM

The leader of Spain's Socialists Pedro Sanchez lost a parliamentary vote to become the country's next prime minister on Wednesday, securing the backing of only 130 representatives in the 350-strong assembly.

The Socialists and liberal newcomer Ciudadanos voted in favour of Sanchez while the ruling conservative People's Party (PP), anti-austerity upstart Podemos, the former communist Izquierda Unida and four regional parties from the Basque Country and Catalonia voted against him. A small party from the Canary Islands abstained.


Pedro Sanchez, leader of Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol (PSOE), pauses during an investiture debate at the parliament in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.
Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pedro Sanchez, leader of Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol (PSOE), pauses during an investiture debate at the parliament in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

Sanchez can still be elected Prime Minister if he wins a simple majority of seats in a second vote on Friday although that scenario is unlikely too, as parties who voted against him on Wednesday have already said they won't change their vote.

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