Spanish interim Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy holds a press conference after his meeting with the leader of center-right party Ciudadanos at the Congress (Las Cortes) in Madrid on Aug. 18, 2016. / AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU
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Describing Thursday's talks as "a decisive step" toward forming a government and avoiding a third round of elections, Rajoy said the two parties would begin Friday negotiating legislative reforms demanded by Ciudadanos as part of its deal to support Rajoy.Rajoy's conservative Popular Party, in power since 2011, won the last election with 137 seats, 39 short of a majority in the 350-seat parliament and needs considerable outside support to win an investiture vote.If Rajoy fails, Spain will likely face months more of his caretaker government and possibly a third election.
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