Europe

Spain: Socialists in turmoil as board revolts against leader

  • FILE - In this June 24, 2016 file photo, Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, center, gestures next to former Spanish Premier Felipe Gonzalez, center right, during a election rally on the last day of campaigning, in Madrid, Spain.  Felipe Gonzalez said Wednesday Sept. 28, 2016, that he feels "cheated" by current Socialist party leader Pedro Sanchez for failing to end Spain's nine-month political deadlock. (AP Photo/Paul White, FILE)

    FILE - In this June 24, 2016 file photo, Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, center, gestures next to former Spanish Premier Felipe Gonzalez, center right, during a election rally on the last day of campaigning, in Madrid, Spain. Felipe Gonzalez said Wednesday Sept. 28, 2016, that he feels "cheated" by current Socialist party leader Pedro Sanchez for failing to end Spain's nine-month political deadlock. (AP Photo/Paul White, FILE)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Friday June 24, 2016, Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, left and former socialist Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez wave together during a rally on the last day of election campaigning, in Madrid, Spain. Felipe Gonzalez said Wednesday Sept. 28, 2016, that he feels "cheated" by current Socialist party leader Pedro Sanchez for failing to end Spain's nine-month political deadlock. (AP Photo/Paul White)

    In this photo taken Friday June 24, 2016, Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, left and former socialist Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez wave together during a rally on the last day of election campaigning, in Madrid, Spain. Felipe Gonzalez said Wednesday Sept. 28, 2016, that he feels "cheated" by current Socialist party leader Pedro Sanchez for failing to end Spain's nine-month political deadlock. (AP Photo/Paul White)  (The Associated Press)

Spain's leading opposition Socialist party is in the throes of a crisis after nearly half of its executive board resigned in a rebellion against leader Pedro Sanchez.

The schism comes as Spain is about to enter its 10th month without a fully functioning government following two inconclusive elections in December and June.

Critics blame Sanchez for the Socialists' worst results ever in the elections. They also claim that his insistence on blocking attempts by acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to form a minority government and end the political impasse is damaging the country.

It is unclear whether Sanchez can continue as leader following the 17 resignations Wednesday.

Sanchez, who refuses to step down, is to chair a meeting of what is left of the board Thursday.