PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez gives a press conference at the party's headquarters in Madrid on September 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Nearly half of the senior members of Spain's Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) have resigned in a bid to oust party's leader Pedro Sanchez and put an end to the country’s nine-month political deadlock.
"Seventeen resignations... were handed in today," a PSOE spokesman said on Wednesday.
This brings the total resignations to 19 as two separate resignations were submitted before, said a Socialist lawmaker, who is against Sanchez and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Based on the party rules, the 35-member party executive now "must be dissolved and its powers passed on to a caretaker administration," the MP added.
Spain has been without a full-fledged government since a hung parliament elected last December failed to pick a prime minister and was dissolved. The new parliament, elected in June, is also deadlocked among four major parties, none with close to a majority of the parliament’s 350 seats.
Spain’s political deadlock is blamed on a standoff between the Socialists and the People's Party (PP).
Many members of the PSOE have urged an end to blocking acting PP Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's bid for a second term by abstaining in the necessary vote of confidence. But, the party had voted against such a government earlier in September.

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