Spain’s Ciudadanos Shuts Door on Vox, Offering Hope to Sanchez

(Bloomberg) -- Ciudadanos, the center-right party in the middle of coalition negotiations across Spain, ruled out any agreement with the nationalist group Vox and said it will instead focus on talks with mainstream parties.

Secretary General Jose Manuel Villegas said during a press conference Monday that the party’s preference is to work with the conservative People’s Party but it would also consider dealing with acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists.

The decision will boost Sanchez’s chances of quickly forming a new government following his victory in April’s general election. The 47-year-old Socialist leader needs to stitch together a patchwork of alliances in the fragmented parliament to win a confidence vote he has penciled in for next month. Ciudadanos has previously ruled out helping Sanchez.

Spanish parties are facing negotiations across the country to form new administrations at national, regional and local level following two rounds of elections in April and May.

Villegas referred specifically to regional and city deals but his comments also suggest Sanchez could have an alternative route to a majority that doesn’t involve Catalan separatist parties.

The announcement dashed the PP’s hopes of forming a right-wing alliance with Ciudadanos and Vox to take power in a number of administrations across the country, including Madrid’s City Hall.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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