Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Make Deal or Face New Vote, Spain Parties Told

MADRID -- With Spain in political deadlock after inconclusive elections, conservative leader Jose Maria Aznar told regional parties Wednesday they must help him form a government or face a new vote soon.

"It would be absolutely irresponsible for Spain's interests to boycott the possibility of a government [being formed] and lead the country into a period of instability and elections in the very short term," Aznar told state television.

He was speaking as his Popular Party (PP) began talks with regional parties whose support is vital to form a government.

Leaders of the PP-friendly Canary Islands Coalition, which holds four of the 350 seats in parliament, were meeting Aznar's aides in Madrid, where the PP's board also held its first postelection gathering.

A more crucial session is scheduled for Thursday when Rodrigo Rato -- a probable economy minister if the PP can form a government -- opens formal negotiations with Spain's main power broker, the Catalan coalition Convergencia i Unio (Convergence and Unity).

Sunday's election, more than a year ahead of schedule, ended nearly 14 years of Socialist rule but left Aznar's party an embarrassing 20 seats short of an outright majority in parliament.