- Title: Senior Spanish Socialists quit en masse in move to end political deadlock
- Date: 29th September 2016
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (FILE - JUNE 26, 2016) (REUTERS) QUEUE OF VOTERS WOMAN VOTING VOTING IN PROGRESS BALLOTS AT BOTTOM OF BALLOT BOXES VOTERS AT POLLING STATION MADRID, SPAIN (FILE) (REUTERS) SANCHEZ ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE SANCHEZ POSING FOR MEDIA NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LEADER OF THE SOCIALIST PARTY PEDRO SANCHEZ SAYING: "I wanted to tell you that Rajoy has offered to form a grand coalition and I have told him the Socialist Party is the alternative to the People's Party and consequently the Socialist Party will not be part of any grand coalition." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS SANCHEZ WRAPPING UP THE NEWS CONFERENCE AND LEAVING PODIUM TO TALK TO JOURNALISTS
- Embargoed: 14th October 2016 11:14
- Keywords: Spain Politics Pedro Sanchez Socialist Party PSOE Government Madrid
- Location: MADRID, SPAIN
- City: MADRID, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00751MBTJB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Spain's Socialist party descended into internal warfare on Wednesday (September 28) as senior members resigned en masse in a bid to unseat their leader and break a political impasse that has left the nation without a new government for nine months.
A stand-off between the Socialists, headed by Pedro Sanchez, and the centre-right People's Party (PP) - which won the most votes but fell short of a majority in two inconclusive national elections - has frustrated attempts to form a government.
But dissent has been growing within the Socialists over whether the party should keep blocking acting PP Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's bid for a second term.
On Wednesday, 17 members of the Socialists' 38-strong executive committee resigned together in a manoeuvre to force Sanchez out and help to ease in a new administration.
After the resignation of two members some months ago and the death of another, the committee now has fewer than half its original members, which should force its dissolution and usher in an interim management. The party conference would then have to choose a new leader in a few weeks.
"When the secretary general of an executive committee resigns or more than half of its members resign, that immediately means that executive committee is dissolved," said Veronica Perez, president of the Socialist Party Federal Committee amongst a media scrum at the Socialist Party headquarters in Madrid on Thursday (September 29).
Most analysts believe a new leader would pave the way for the Socialists to tolerate a new Rajoy government, thus ending a stalemate prevailing since the inconclusive election in December last year.
But other committee members said party rules did not allow for such a scenario to transpire and that Sanchez remained their leader.
Sanchez arrived at the party headquarters in Madrid on Thursday (September 29) morning where he was meeting with his party supporters.
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