Spanish PM to announce decision on early polls on Friday

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez delivers a statement on the political crisis in Venezuela at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, February 4, 2019. — Reuters pic
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez delivers a statement on the political crisis in Venezuela at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, February 4, 2019. — Reuters pic

MADRID, Feb 13 — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will announce Friday whether he will call an early general election, the government said, after right-wing and Catalan separatist lawmakers rejected his draft 2019 budget.

Sanchez, who came to power in June thanks in part to parliamentary support from 17 Catalan lawmakers, needed their votes to push his first budget through. They withdrew their backing in protest against the leaders of a secessionist movement being put on trial for rebellion.

“The cabinet will meet on Friday. The decision (on elections) of the head of the government, Pedro Sanchez, will be announced after the meeting,” a government source said.

Opinion polls show one outcome of snap polls could be a right-wing majority in parliament, including a newly-emerged far-right party. — AFP