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Spanish monarch nears decision on formation of new gov’t

/ 06:26 PM January 22, 2016
Spain's King Felipe VI, left, poses with Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera before a meeting at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, Thursday Jan. 21, 2016. King Felipe VI is meeting with political party leaders before nominating one to try to form a new Spanish government following an inconclusive national election last month. Traditionally, the monarch invites the election winner to form a government, but he can opt for other leaders if they can deliver a more stable option. (Angel Diaz, Pool Photo via AP)

Spain’s King Felipe VI, left, poses with Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera before a meeting at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, on Jan. 21. King Felipe VI is meeting with political party leaders before nominating one to try to form a new Spanish government following an inconclusive national election last month. AP

MADRID—King Felipe VI is wrapping up a week of meetings with Spain’s political leaders before picking one to form a government, after inconclusive elections last month.

The king was due to meet Friday with incumbent conservative premier Mariano Rajoy, whose Popular Party won most seats but fell short of a voting majority in Parliament, and with Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, whose party came second.

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The monarch traditionally invites the election winner to govern. However, he may opt for other leaders if they can forge alliances with other parties and summon more votes in Parliament, where lawmakers approve or reject legislation.

The party leader invited by the king must win a parliamentary vote of confidence to take office, but so far no candidate has been able to muster enough support.

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