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New Spain PM Sanchez to not include far-left Podemos in cabinet

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez arrives to welcome Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (not seen) before holding a meeting at the Palace of Moncloa in Madrid on June 4, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The new Socialist-led government in Spain that came to power with the help of the Podemos party will not include any ministers from the far-left group, a top party official says.

The Socialist party's deputy secretary general, Adriana Lastra, said on Monday that Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez would have no ministers from Podemos in his future cabinet.

Lastra said the new government in Spain, which took power after Conservatives led by former prime minister Mariano Rajoy were ousted, would be an “essentially Socialist” administration.

“In a few days, the names of those who will form part of the government will be made public,” she said in an interview with public television TVE.

Podemos which, with a regional ally, has 71 seats in parliament, contributed a great deal to a Socialists’ motion to impeach and depose Rajoy over corruption allegations that had gripped members of his Popular Party.

Podemos spokeswoman Noelia Vera said Sanchez had not invited “for now” anyone from the party to be part of his government, adding, however, that such a decision would harm the Socialists in their future plans for reforms.

“We told him it is possible to build a courageous, solid government,” said Vera, adding, “But it seems that this will not be the choice of Pedro Sanchez, who is going to opt for a weaker government, which will find it difficult to adopt progressive measures.”

Sanchez was sworn in on Saturday, a day after his party managed to force through a no-confidence motion against Rajoy with the help of Podemos and some regional parties. The 46-year-old economist who has no government experience has vowed to row back on some of Rajoy’s extensive reform plans, including cuts in healthcare and education and his labor laws.

Sanchez should also call early elections before the current term of legislature expires in 2020.

Lastra said Sanchez would call the elections although she would not elaborate on a specific date.

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