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

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.