The palace of Spain's King Felipe IV said late Tuesday that two days of coalition talks with party leaders in a bid to solve the country's political crisis have ended without result, making fresh elections an almost certain prospect.
The monarch was unable to put forward a candidate after discussions with party leaders, the palace said.
Fresh elections set for June 26 have become inevitable as a result, Patxi Lopez, speaker of Spain's lower house of Parliament, said.
"We will now begin the process of dissolving parliament and setting new elections," he said.
The deadline for naming a candidate for prime minister is Monday, but following the king's decision, it is nearly impossible for this deadline to be met.
He is expected to file a decree to dissolve parliament overnight Monday into Tuesday next week.
Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative People's Party and socialist opposition leader Pedro Sanchez had both told King Felipe that they could not secure the necessary parliamentary majorities to form a government.
At separate press conferences, the political rivals blamed each other for the failed talks and impending elections.
None of Spain's parties won a decisive majority in parliamentary elections on December 20, leaving the country in political limbo.