Spain to debate Socialist-led government in early March

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Spain's Parliament says it will debate Socialist party leader Pedro Sanchez's candidacy to form a government on March 2.

After the debate, Sanchez will face a vote of confidence which he must win with a majority of votes in the 350-seat lower house.

If he fails, he faces a second vote within 48 hours in which he will only need most votes to win.

The Socialists won 90 seats in the Dec. 20 elections and are negotiating with other parties to back Sanchez.

The ruling Popular Party won the most seats but its leader refused to form a government because he lacked sufficient support.

If Sanchez loses both votes, Parliament must choose a government in two months or face fresh elections.

Parliament speaker Patxi Lopez announced the debate date Monday.