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Rajoy Claims His Party's Right to Rule Spain

Spain's acting Primer Minister and candidate of Popular Party Mariano Rajoy, waves to his supporters as he celebrates the results of the party during the national elections in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, June 26, 2016.

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says since his People's Party won the most votes in the repeat parliamentary elections Sunday, it has won the right to govern.

The PP won 137 seats - 14 more than the last election - but still short of the 176 needed for an absolute majority in the 350-member parliament.

"We claim the right to govern, precisely because we have won the elections, but right now our aim is to be useful to the entire population," Rajoy said Sunday.

Spain held repeat parliamentary elections Sunday after the inconclusive outcome of the December elections, which spawned six months of failed negotiations.

The Socialists came in second in Sunday's balloting with 85 seats; five fewer than in December.

The radical anti-austerity Unidos Podemos (United We Can) alliance, which includes the communists and Greens, was shown winning 71 seats. That alliance had hoped to overtake the Socialists in a bid to break the country's traditional two-party control over public life in Europe's fifth largest economy.

The business friendly Ciudadanos Party, once seen as a natural ally of Prime Minister Rajoy and his followers, finished fourth with 32 seats.

While Rajoy is claiming a win, he finds himself in the same position he was in after the last vote. His party will have to return to the negotiating table for talks on forming a new government that analysts say are likely to prove challenging.

Sunday's vote was the first time Spain has had to hold repeat elections since it became a democracy in 1975.

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