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Spanish conservatives sign deal with smaller party

Associated Press Associated Press 28/08/2016
Spain's acting Prime Minster and Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy, right, shakes hands with Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera during a meeting at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. Spanish conservative Popular Party has signed a deal with smaller, business-friendly Ciudadanos that could help avoid a possible third round of elections and possibly end the country's eight month political deadlock. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) © The Associated Press Spain's acting Prime Minster and Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy, right, shakes hands with Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera during a meeting at the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. Spanish conservative Popular Party has signed a deal with smaller, business-friendly Ciudadanos that could help avoid a possible third round of elections and possibly end the country's eight month political deadlock. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

MADRID — The conservative Popular Party in Spain has signed a deal with the smaller, business-friendly Ciudadanos that could help avoid a possible third round of elections and end the country's eight-month political deadlock.

The deal, signed Sunday, is a package of 150 reforms proposed by Ciudadanos, which will allow 32 of its lawmakers to vote for acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at a parliamentary session on Aug. 31.

With Ciudadanos' support, Rajoy will have 170 votes in his favor, but he still falls short of a majority in the 350-seat parliament.

Both parties are now increasing pressure on the Socialist Party, second with 85 seats in parliament, to vote in favor of Rajoy and avoid a possible third round of elections on Christmas Day.

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