Published: Fri, June 01, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Spanish PM To Be Ousted In "No Confidence" Vote

Spanish PM To Be Ousted In

Spain's parliament ousted Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday in a no-confidence vote sparked by fury over his party's corruption woes, paving the way for a takeover by opposition leader Pedro Sanchez.

MPs from eight parties voted today to dispatch Mr Rajoy to history, eight years after his conservative government stormed to power in a landslide victory in 2011.

The motion, called by Mr Sanchez, won 180 votes for, 169 against and one abstention.

The no-confidence motion in Rajoy was triggered by a long-running corruption trial involving members of his party.

Mr Sanchez, 46, is expected to take office by Monday after King Felipe VI swears him in, and appoint his cabinet next week.

Sanchez stands in the Spanish parliament after Friday's no-confidence vote. "It has been an honor to be the Prime Minister of Spain, it has been an honor to leave a better Spain than I found", he said.

In a bid to secure the PNV's support, Sanchez vowed to stick to Rajoy's 2018 budget, which included concessions to the Basque Country and an increase in pensions demanded by the tiny party.

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

The reputation of Rajoy's Popular Party was badly damaged by a court verdict last week that identified it as a beneficiary of a large kickbacks-for-contracts scheme.

During Thursday's debate, Rajoy said the corruption case "does not concern members of the government" and repeated the PP's argument that only a tiny number of its politicians have been tainted by corruption.

In his brief address - perhaps his last Spain's leader - he also thanked those in his party and the Spanish people.

Aitor Esteban, a Basque party MP, warned Mr Sanchez: "Your government will be very complicated, weak and hard".

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