Global News

Spanish government falls, Socialist opposition leader takes power

Spanish government falls, Socialist opposition leader takes power

An editorial in the influential El Pais newspaper said: "The no-confidence vote will remove Mariano Rajoy as Prime Minister but won't produce greater political stability".

There have been three other such votes since Spain returned to democracy following the death of long-time dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, including one against Rajoy a year ago.

"The no-confidence motion is likely to go through, which means Mr Pedro Sanchez will be the new prime minister", he told parliament.

He is the first Spanish prime minister to lose such a vote since Spain transitioned to democracy in 1977.

The no-confidence vote is scheduled to take place on Friday and was tabled by the opposition Socialist party.

The no-confidence vote came as Rajoy's conservative People's Party (PP) is enmired in a funding scandal that last week saw 29 people linked to the party, including elected officials, receive heavy sentences while the party itself was fined for operating hidden accounts. It also ordered the party to pay back €245,000 (US$290,000) received from the scheme to help finance election campaigns.




The Socialist party leader, Mr Rajoy's arch-rival who called for the vote, is poised to take over as prime minister.

The support of leftist and nationalist parties for ousting Rajoy won't necessarily lead to parliamentary backing for Sanchez's government and could produce a political stalemate. His party has also faced continued allegations of corruption over the past years, culminating in the recent scandal.

He says the corruption accusations concern only a tiny number of politicians and no current members of government.

With the PNV's support, and that of the far-left Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties, which is all but guaranteed, Rajoy will be forced out and replaced as PM by Sánchez on Friday.

Sanchez, who is expected to be sworn in by Monday and appoint his cabinet next week, has promised to start talks with the Catalans but said he will not give them an independence referendum.


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