Europe

Spain: King in talks with parties try to avoid 3rd election

  • Spain's King Felipe VI shakes hands with Spain's Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias, right, during their meeting at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, July 28, 2016. King Felipe is having talks with political party leaders in an attempt to break a deadlock in finding a candidate capable of forming a government. (AP Photo/Angel Diaz, Pool)

    Spain's King Felipe VI shakes hands with Spain's Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias, right, during their meeting at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, July 28, 2016. King Felipe is having talks with political party leaders in an attempt to break a deadlock in finding a candidate capable of forming a government. (AP Photo/Angel Diaz, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Spain's King Felipe VI chats with Spain's Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera, right, as they pose for pictures during their meeting at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, July 28, 2016. King Felipe is having talks with political party leaders in an attempt to break a deadlock in finding a candidate capable of forming a government. (AP Photo/Angel Diaz, Pool)

    Spain's King Felipe VI chats with Spain's Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera, right, as they pose for pictures during their meeting at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, July 28, 2016. King Felipe is having talks with political party leaders in an attempt to break a deadlock in finding a candidate capable of forming a government. (AP Photo/Angel Diaz, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Spain's King Felipe VI chats with Spain's Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez, right, while they pose for pictures during their meeting at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, July 28, 2016. King Felipe is having talks with political party leaders in an attempt to break a deadlock in finding a candidate capable of forming a government. (AP Photo/Angel Diaz, Pool)

    Spain's King Felipe VI chats with Spain's Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez, right, while they pose for pictures during their meeting at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, Thursday, July 28, 2016. King Felipe is having talks with political party leaders in an attempt to break a deadlock in finding a candidate capable of forming a government. (AP Photo/Angel Diaz, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Spain's king is meeting the leaders of the four main political parties in the hope one can form a government and avoid a third election for the country in less than a year, but the outlook is not good.

No party won a majority of seats in the June 26 repeat election. Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative Popular Party won the most seats but no other group is prepared to back his candidacy for the premiership.

If the king cannot find a candidate able to muster sufficient parliamentary support, Spain could face months more of caretaker government while negotiations continue and a possible third election this fall.

King Felipe VI meets first Thursday with Alberto Rivera of the centrist Ciudadanos party.