MADRID – The leader of Spain's far left Podemos party announced Friday that party members will vote next week on whether to support or oppose a deal to form a government and end nearly four months of political stalemate.
But Pablo Iglesias suggested he would oppose such a deal, saying he felt "betrayed" a day after meeting with negotiators for the Socialists and the centrist Ciudadanos party that have a deal to form a government but lack parliamentary support and could get it from Podemos.
He did not provide specifics but said proposals made by Podemos in return for its support "were received with inflexibility" by the Socialists and Ciudadanos.
Spaniards enraged with high unemployment, seemingly endless corruption cases and austerity cutbacks ended the nation's traditional two-party system last Dec. 20 with an inconclusive election.
The conservative Popular Party came in first but fell far short of its 2011-2015 parliamentary majority.
The Socialists came in second and newcomers Podemos and Ciudadanos took third and fourth.
Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the Popular Party's leader, decided in January against trying to form a government because he lacked support. So King Felipe VI offered the task to Socialist leader Pablo Sanchez, who reached the deal with Ciudadanos.
The Socialists and Ciudadanos could form a government with Podemos' votes in the 350-seat lower house of Parliament or via abstention from the Podemos lawmakers.
One of the biggest issues threatening a deal is Podemos' commitment to allowing the northeastern Catalonia region to hold a secession referendum. The Socialists and Ciudadanos are adamantly opposed.
Podemos members will vote on the government from April 14 to April 16.
Spaniards will vote again in another national election on June 26 if no governing deal is reached by the end of April.