Spain's divided Socialists to vote in leadership battle

His detractors want the party to use the 85 parliamentary seats it won in June polls to help unblock the national deadlock and allow Rajoy to lead a right-wing government by abstaining in a vote of confidence, rather than voting against as it did earlier this month.

Members of the bitterly divided Socialist assembly met on Saturday to decide whether to open up a leadership race in October, as proposed by Sanchez, or oust him.

His departure comes after months of internal division within the party, and could mean an end to Spain's political gridlock as the new Socialist leadership may be more willing to let acting Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy form a coalition government.

The Socialists will be under interim management until a party conference can choose a new leader.

Sanchez's resignation, which was confirmed by both an advisor and an opponent from within the ranks of the PSOE, came a day after he predicted Saturday's debate would be "decisive".

Last week, the Socialist leader hinted at a possible attempt to deal with Podemos and the Catalan pro-independence parties to form a government, but PSOE's conservative wing, including former Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, publicly opposed that option.

The opposition group led by his main rival, the head of the Andalusia region Susana Diaz, has imposed her plan to organize a congress after a new government takes office in Spain. Still, Sanchez supporters gathered outside party headquarters in Madrid on Saturday, chanting his name.

Most observers and analysts believe the Socialists will go for the first option, to give them time to regroup and not run the risk of losing more ground in a third election in a year.

Two stolen Van Gogh paintings recovered by Italian police in Naples
The painting of the church was made for his mother and shows the church where his father was a pastor. Anti-Mafia police in Naples found the paintings during a raid at a notorious Italian drug boss' home.

However, Rajoy's unpopularity and his party's implication in a number of major corruption cases had pushed Sanchez away from any approach to the Conservatives.

The 137-year-old Socialist party is reeling in from losses in the Galician and Basque regional elections last month and its worst-ever results in the last two national elections.

Spain's parliament has until October 31 to produce a government or new elections will be called in December - the third in a year.

One analyst said the only victor in the political stalemate is Rajoy.

"The Spanish left is broken".

Rajoy has been leading a caretaker government after the two elections.

If his critics get their way and he quits, an interim leadership will be appointed which would likely direct the Socialists to abstain if Rajoy chose to go for another vote of confidence, thus unblocking the situation and avoiding a third round of elections.

Related news:

Hot News

Chief Justice Roy Moore Final Hearing Today
Oct 02, 2016 - 04:01
The Judicial Inquiry Commission contends he was making a defiant stand to try and continue to block gay marriage in Alabama. Ashby Pate, countered that by the time Moore wrote the administrative order, the legal debate over gay marriage was over.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top WR Julian Edelman may be next up as Patriots' QB
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:28
Their Golden Boy Tom Brady returns from a four-game suspension on October 3. He's spent a whole offseason and preseason in the Patriots' playbook.

Nissan's Sunderland plant faces delays in new investment post Brexit vote
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:26
Renault also invested early and big in electric cars, and he added, "Anything that goes toward more electric cars is good for us". It exported 1.2 million cars a year ago , a lot of them to European countries.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Woody Allen was a fan of Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:24
To be blunt, Crisis in Six Scenes is awful . "It was very hard for me to do it; it was not an easy thing, but it's over". While you ponder that, also consider " Crisis in Six Scenes ", billed as Allen's first foray into series television.

Prince William and Princess Kate Enjoy a Date Night in Canada
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:24
An analysis of the top six royals reveals that the young, energetic Cambridges come in last, well behind four senior citizens. Later, the royal couple visit the Immigrant Services Society and meet representatives who work with refugees.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Europe sends out its heavy (Olympic) medal at Ryder Cup
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:24
Fourball will follow Friday afternoon, with pairings for that competition to be announced late Friday morning. The Ryder Cup is unlike any other tournament in the sport of golf, and the format can be a little confusing.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ryder Cup Pays Tribute To Arnold Palmer
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:23
Hazeltine National's first tee was a mixture of rowdiness and reverence as the 41st Ryder Cup got under way on a misty morning. As spectacles go, nothing in golf quite matches the first tee at a Ryder Cup, writes Simon Lewis .

Man rescued at sea has mysterious past
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:23
Carman told the Coast Guard his 31-foot aluminum fishing boat sank and he spent seven days in a four-person inflatable life raft . Police searched Carman's apartment and found a tactical shotgun, but its caliber did not match the gun used in the murder.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho bemoans Monday night football
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:22
The Reds will make the trip to South Wales on Saturday afternoon as Liverpool take on Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Political parties, including Congress, hail surgical strikes
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:20
The military action by India came 11 days after terrorists killed 18 Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri. All of us stand firmly united against terrorism and those who support and sponsor it", Mr Gandhi said.

Bake Off's Nadiya Thinks The Show Can Do Well On Channel 4
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:19
Lord Sugar - who fronts The Apprentice on BBC One - slammed the move and said the show will be a "total disaster" in its new home. Hussain was asked about her views on Bake Off changing channel, but responded by saying: "It's old news".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Blac Chyna Tweets Out Rob Kardashian's Number: 'How's That Feel?'
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:18
Chyna was all dressed up and ready to go, [but] Kylie then told him that Chyna wasn't invited if he wasn't going to be there. And we were left hoping that they would both say they were joking, but they didn't and now our stomachs are turning.

Autopsies Done for Sisters Found Dead in Seychelles
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:16
Yet what caused their sudden deaths has yet to be determined. "No indication has been given as to the estimated time of death". Police in Seychelles say two American sisters found dead in their island villa died of excess fluid in their lungs.

Deutsche Bank shares tank below 10 euros for first time
Oct 01, 2016 - 00:14
Justice Department this month requested $14 billion to settle an investigation into residential mortgage-backed securities. Fellow German lender Commerzbank AG said Thursday it would cut one in five of its employees and suspend dividend payments.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top United Nations panel says America owes blacks reparations for racial terrorism
Sep 30, 2016 - 11:40
According to the UN, "The risky ideology of white supremacy inhibits social cohesion amongst the U.S. population". Past injustices and crimes against African Americans need to be addressed with reparatory justice .