Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez dropped his pledge to call an early election in Spain less than three weeks after taking office. In his first interview since ousting Mariano Rajoy with a no-confidence vote on June 1, 46-year-old Sanchez said he aims to see out the final two years of the parliamentary term. “I plan to call elections in 2020, and so to see out the legislature,” Sanchez told state television broadcaster TVE Monday. “After the confidence motion, we need a period of time to get back to normal before calling an election.”
Sanchez lined up a cross-party alliance to topple Rajoy after the National Court ruled his party had benefited from an illegal funding ring. With only 84 Socialist deputies to help steer legislation through a 350-seat parliament, Sanchez’s ability to govern effectively rests on his ability to build consensus to tackle challenges such as the campaign by Catalan separatists to split from Spain.
Sanchez has so far seized on issues attracting widespread voter support as he seeks to establish himself. He said Spain would take in a migrant rescue ship turned away from Italy and then Malta and won widespread praise for making the majority of his ministers women.