MADRID, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- The leader of Spain's right-wing People's Party (PP), Alberto Nunez Feijoo, on Friday failed for a second time to win the support of the Spanish Congress to become prime minister.
After being defeated in the first investiture vote on Wednesday with 178 votes against and 172 in his favor, Feijoo lost the second vote in 48 hours with 177 against and 172 in his favor. This slight difference stemmed from Eduard Pujol, a member of the Catalan separatist party Junts per Catalonya, who accidentally voted in favor but quickly retracted his support.
This outcome paves way for acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) to return to office with a new mandate.
Feijoo underlined his candidacy on his party's victory in the recent general election, when they won 137 seats compared to the 121 seats held by Sanchez's PSOE.
He said that there were only two alternatives for Spain now -- "a government of lies" led by the PSOE, or "new elections."
Feijoo's current defeat means that party leaders will hold a second round of talks with King Felipe VI of Spain. The King will have to nominate another candidate, presumably Sanchez, to attempt to gain support from Congress.
Meanwhile, Sanchez's party highlighted that although the PP had won more seats, that did not mean they had a majority of support in the Congress.
If Sanchez fails to secure congressional support by Nov. 27, two months after Wednesday's vote, the Congress will be dissolved, leading to a new general election scheduled for January.