Europe

Spain: Parliament to start process to elect PM, end impasse

  • Spain acting conservative Prime Minister and Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy, right, is greeted by his party members after speaking at the investiture debate, a day before a first confidence vote in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016.  The Spanish Parliament has started an investiture debate that is widely expected to end in the conservative Popular Party taking power later this week, ending 10 months of political deadlock during which a caretaker government has run the country. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

    Spain acting conservative Prime Minister and Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy, right, is greeted by his party members after speaking at the investiture debate, a day before a first confidence vote in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. The Spanish Parliament has started an investiture debate that is widely expected to end in the conservative Popular Party taking power later this week, ending 10 months of political deadlock during which a caretaker government has run the country. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)  (The Associated Press)

  • EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN. EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN. Students display banners against student law reading, ''Strike and Victory? No. Organization, Victory and General Strike'', during high school students demonstration, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, on a one day strike to protest about the country's education law that increases the number of annual exams.  The education bill was brought in 2014 by the conservative Popular Party with claims it would stem Spain's school dropout rate.  (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

    EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN. EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN. Students display banners against student law reading, ''Strike and Victory? No. Organization, Victory and General Strike'', during high school students demonstration, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, on a one day strike to protest about the country's education law that increases the number of annual exams. The education bill was brought in 2014 by the conservative Popular Party with claims it would stem Spain's school dropout rate. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Spain acting conservative Prime Minister and Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy is illuminated by a spot light as he arrives to open an investiture debate, a day before a first confidence vote in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. The Spanish Parliament has started an investiture debate that is widely expected to end in the conservative Popular Party taking power later this week, ending 10 months of political deadlock during which a caretaker government has run the country. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

    Spain acting conservative Prime Minister and Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy is illuminated by a spot light as he arrives to open an investiture debate, a day before a first confidence vote in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. The Spanish Parliament has started an investiture debate that is widely expected to end in the conservative Popular Party taking power later this week, ending 10 months of political deadlock during which a caretaker government has run the country. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)  (The Associated Press)

Spain is close to finally having a government following a 10-month political deadlock as Parliament prepares for an investiture debate that will likely elect conservative leader Mariano Rajoy to head of minority government this week.

Rajoy is to open the debate later Wednesday ahead of a first confidence vote Thursday. He is unlikely to get the necessary absolute majority of votes in the 350-seat chamber in the first round, but a promise to abstain by the leading opposition Socialist party in a second round scheduled for Saturday should get him through.

Two inconclusive elections since December have left Rajoy running a caretaker government. His Popular Party won both elections, but lacks a parliamentary majority and needs outside support to form a minority government.