Spain's Socialist chief calls for leadership race to review government options

September 26, 2016 10:58 AM EDT

Spain's Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez looks down during a news conference at the party headquarters in Madrid, Spain, September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Andrea Comas


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MADRID (Reuters) - The head of Spain's Socialists, Pedro Sanchez, said on Monday he would call for a leadership race on Oct. 23 to review the party's position on whether to allow a minority government of the ruling Conservatives or force a third national election.

Sanchez, whose party came second in inconclusive national elections on Dec. 20 and June 26, has steadfastly refused to support a minority government led by conservative rivals the People's Party (PP). But a growing number of senior members of the socialist party say this position should be reviewed.

"The time has come to discuss this question... It's important that the socialist party speaks with a single voice," Sanchez told a news conference after the Socialists had their worst showing ever in regional ballots in the Basque Country and Galicia at the week-end.

This leadership race still has to be approved by the party's leadership on Oct. 1 however. The Spanish press has said some party members could try to oust Sanchez at this meeting.

(Reporting by Sarah White and Angus Berwick, Editing by Julien Toyer)



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