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Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has called a cabinet meeting with a snap election after his budget was rejected in a 191-158 vote. The election will be held in April or May with Sancez's Socialist Party leading in the polls after Catalan parties withdrew support.

Spain Pedro Sanchez

This would be Spain's third election in five years  anchez's socialists are leading in opinion polls at about 30% with the two main right-of-centre parties together poll at over 30%.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's (pictured) bill failed after parties from the Catalonia region refused to support it. Their requests for discussions about the region's right to self-determination had been refused. Before the vote, government sources had warned that a defeat would result in an early election. Catalan parties rejected the proposals in the same week that Catalan separatist leaders went on trial for rebellion and sedition over their unrecognised independence referendum in 2017

In the end, 191 out of the parliament's 350 members voted to reject the government's budget.

Mr Sánchez left the room without making any announcement or comment. some of his political opponents, however, called for fresh elections in media interviews. .

Mr Sánchez leads a minority government, with less than a quarter of the seats in parliament. He became prime minister after his predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, was pushed out in a no-confidence vote over a corruption scandal. But Mr Sánchez's nomination was supported by a range of smaller parties with competing interests.

If he calls a general election, it will be the third in five years.

Catalan pro-independence parties had supported the government's previous legislation while insisting on a dialogue over independence for their region as the price for supporting the budget. The parties which Mr Sánchez needed to support him said they were open to negotiations so long as the Spanish government considered Catalonia's right to self-determination. But the government's stance remains that, according to the country's constitution, the nation is "indissoluble", and no part of it can secede from the whole. That argument came to the fore when the 12 Catalan pro-independence leaders and activists went on trial on Tuesday.

Source BBC

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