King Felipe VI has asked the minority Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to try and form the next government.
If Sanchez is to be reinstated as premier, he will need to pass a key parliamentary vote for which he will need the backing of a hardline Catalan separatist party cast in the role of kingmaker following the inconclusive general election of July.
The move comes just four days after right-wing opposition leader Alberto Nunez-Feijoo failed in his own bid to win parliamentary support to be inaugurated as prime minister.
Sanchez will now have to seek support from at least 176 lawmakers in the vote which must take place before November 27.
If he fails, Spain will automatically be forced to hold new elections, most likely in mid-January.
Sanchez said he accepted the king’s offer and would start talks with the different parliamentary groups on Wednesday.
“I will meet with all the different parliamentary parties except the far-right Vox, obviously,” he said.
“I will work to form a progressive coalition government comprising the Socialist Party and (the far left) Sumar as soon as possible with enough support to guarantee the stability Spain needs to continue promoting progressive policies and coexistence,” he said.
Sanchez who has been prime minister since 2018 has proved to be a tenacious political survivor and claims to be confident he will be returned to power with the backing of Sumar and Basque and Catalan regional parties to form a minority administration.