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Spain: Mariano Rajoy ousted in no-confidence vote, new PM is Pedro Sánchez

(Foto: AFP/SIR)

Change of government in Spain: the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has received support from 180 MPs, with 169 votes against and one abstention. Socialist Party (PSOE) leader, Pedro Sanchez, which tabled the motion to unseat him, automatically took over as Spain’s new prime minister. Shortly before the vote, whose outcome was already clear, Rajoy told Parliament: “It has been an honour to be the prime minister of Spain, it is an honour to leave a better Spain than the one I found. I hope that my successor will be able to say the same when his time comes. Good luck to everyone for the good of Spain”. Sánchez has been the first to win a no-confidence motion in the history of Spain, and the first prime minister to arrive at La Moncloa Palace (the seat of government in Madrid) without being a sitting MP. He is committed to respecting the budget passed by Rajoy, to opening talks with Catalan secessionists and to calling elections, “although a date has not yet been announced”, El Pais reports. As stated in the editorial of the Spanish newspaper, Spain’s governability has passed “from the hands of a leader, Mariano Rajoy, who is to blame for this institutional crisis due to his inability to deal with his political responsibility”, and to step down after several members of his PP Party were implicated in a corruption scandal, “to those of another leader, Pedro Sánchez, who is refusing to turn to voters to obtain a clear mandate to move forward”. It is “a duel between two politicians without a future”, who have calculated “whether it is better or worse to hang on for a few months as prime minister to be able to run in the next elections in the best possible position”. “At no time” during the duel “was even the slightest concern for the interests of Spanish citizens there to see”.

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