Spain’s next parliamentary elections will be held on December 20, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said late Thursday.
The election date falls nearly at the end of the term for Rajoy’s conservative government.
He said that the parliament needed as much time as possible to complete work on a 2016 budget before the election.
The date allows a deadline of January 14 to form the next government, reducing the pressure for post-election coalition talks during the year-end holidays.
Spanish law gives the prime minister a nearly free hand in setting election dates within the regular four-year parliamentary term.