Spain PM starts talks with main opposition party in bid to form government

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet with the leader of the main opposition party to launch complicated talks on forming a coalition or minority government after his party won the most votes in national elections but fell short of a parliamentary majority.

Rajoy meets Wednesday with Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez.

Sunday's election gave Rajoy's Popular Party 123 seats in the 350-member lower house of parliament, down from the 186 won in 2001. The Socialists got 90 seats, followed by the far-left Podemos and allies with 69 and the business-friendly Ciudadanos with 40.

Spain has never had a "grand coalition" of the Socialist and Popular parties.

The Socialists say they would not abstain in a parliamentary confidence vote in a move allowing a Rajoy-led minority government.