Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has announced March 9, 2008, as the date for the country's next general elections.
The Socialist premier made the announcement on Thursday during a brief appearance before journalists outside parliament after it was adjourned for the holidays, EFE news agency reported on Friday.
Zapatero said that parliament would formally be dissolved on Jan 14, and the 15-day electioneering would get underway from Feb 22.
Some 35 million citizens will be eligible to vote in Spain's ninth general election since the restoration of democracy in the 1970s. The contest will pit Zapatero's Socialists against the main opposition rightist Popular Party, which governed from 1996-2004 under Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.