Reuters International

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy reacts after delivering a statement at the Moncloa palace in Madrid, Spain, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

(reuters_tickers)

MADRID (Reuters) - August 2 would be a suitable date for a parliamentary debate on the viability of any government formed by caretaker Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the acting administration's No. 2 said on Friday.

Spanish politics has been in limbo since a national election in December, which Rajoy's conservative People's Party (PP) won with a minority of seats. A second election last month produced a similarly inconclusive result.

The PP is now negotiating with other parties over forming a viable coalition that would be subject to a parliamentary vote of confidence before it could take office.

A date of August. 2 to start the parliamentary debate leading up to the vote "is reasonable and doable, but it also depends on the will and capacity of everyone to reach an agreement," acting Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told the government's weekly press conference.

The vote of confidence would then take place on August 3. Under rules set out in the Spanish Constitution, if Rajoy fails to obtain an absolute majority of 176 seats then a second vote would take place on August 5.

In this second vote, Rajoy would become prime minister by winning a simple majority, that is more votes in favour than against.

The PP, which managed to increase its share of votes on June 26 but again fell far short of a parliamentary majority, needs support from its long-time foe, the second-placed Socialists, or a cluster of smaller parties.

But the Socialist leader affirmed on Wednesday his party's intention to vote against a government led by the PP, potentially extending the seven-month deadlock.

If negotiations fail again, Spain could face a third election.

(Reporting By Sonya Dowsett; editing by John Stonestreet)

reuters_tickers

 Reuters International