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Spain headed for new polls after king says coalition talks failed

Spanish voters were headed for fresh elections Tuesday after the king declared there was no candidate for prime minister after months-long talks on the formation of a coalition government failed.

“His Majesty the King… has established that there is no candidate with the necessary support,” the royal palace said in a statement.

King Felipe VI’s conclusion sets in motion a constitutional procedure to dissolve parliament and call new elections.

Speaking to reporters shortly after meeting the monarch, parliamentary speaker Patxi Lopez said the next elections would be announced on May 3.

Under an official electoral timeframe, the polls are expected to take place on June 26.

The announcement comes more than 18 weeks after December elections resulted in a hung parliament and forced parties into talks on forming a coalition, which would be a first for Spain since it returned to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

But the parties were unable to come to a deal, leading to the current political paralysis.