MADRID / AP
Spain’s king signed a decree on Tuesday dissolving parliament and setting a new election for June 26 after legislators chosen in an inconclusive December vote failed to agree on the country’s next prime minister.
King Felipe VI signed the order in the presence of parliamentary speaker Patxi Lopez after the midnight Monday deadline for installing a new government passed. Spain has never had to repeat elections since democracy was restored in 1978.
Lopez told reporters that the 350 lawmakers elected in the next election will take their parliamentary seats July 19.
Spain has been in a political stalemate, administered by a caretaker government led by conservative Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy, who is hoping for a second term as prime minister. But newcomer parties Podemos and Ciudadanos upset the longstanding dominance of the Popular Party and Socialists in the Dec. 20 election.