Spanish ruling party claims victory in general elections

Madrid: Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has claimed his "right to govern" after his ruling Popular Party (PP) won most seats in the nation's general election on Sunday.

In an appearance from the PP headquarters in downtown Madrid on Sunday night, Rajoy thanked the efforts made by activists and supporters of his party, who have secured 123 seats in December 2015 and now 137 seats in the 350-member Congress of Deputies of Spain, EFE news reported.

"We claim the right to govern because we have won the elections," and reached out for dialogue by stating that "we will have to talk with everybody, and we will do it." He also stated that his party's goal is to "defend Spain and 100 per cent of the Spaniards, it is what we are here for."

Rajoy, who called the PP a "useful instrument for Spain", said the country is re-emerging after years of crisis, and insisted that the country is "going in the right direction. The leader, who came to power at the end of 2011, was presented in the campaign as the politician who has lifted Spain out of crisis and called for the voters to continue in that direction.

The elections were held six months after the previous one which took place on December 20, 2015, in which the PP also emerged triumphant but with fewer seats (123). However, Rajoy did not present his candidacy to become the country's prime minister.

He turned down the King's offer to form the new government, considering that he has no majority in the Congress of Deputies. Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez's failed investiture attempt prompted the new elections on June 26.

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