Spain’s Socialist premier Pedro Sanchez on Monday offered himself as the only candidate who could guarantee “stability” as the country heads into its fourth elections in as many years.
Although his Socialists won the last election in April, they fell short of an absolute majority and Sanchez was unable to find the support necessary to be confirmed as prime minister.
“We are the only political force that can offer stability, a sense of statehood and a clear roadmap,” he said in launching his campaign.
“There is no time to waste through complaining, playing games or casting blame,” said Sanchez, whose rivals have accused him of wanting new elections all along in order to strengthen his party’s majority.
Sanchez has blamed parties on both the far left and the right for the failure to reach a deal that would allow him to win a confidence vote and break the political deadlock.
Polls suggest the Socialists are on track for another victory but like last time, they would lack an absolute majority, forcing them to seek alliances to allow Sanchez to govern.
Parties on the left are heading into the election more divided than ever after the former number two of Podemos said he would fight the election.
Inigo Errejon will contest the vote with a new list called Mas Pais, running in direct competition with his former close friend Pablo Iglesias who heads Podemos.
Spain has been gripped by political instability since the traditional two-party system collapsed in the December 2015 election with the emergence of Podemos and business-friendly Ciudadanos.
April’s election also brought another divisive element into the political spectrum with far-right upstart Vox entering parliament.