Published: Mon, June 04, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Socialist takes over as Spain’s prime minister after corruption scandal

Socialist takes over as Spain’s prime minister after corruption scandal

The vote will hand power to the opposition Socialists, led by Pedro Sanchez, thanks to a narrow majority in the 350-lower seat house.

Even if Sanchez supported Rajoy in his response to the Catalan crisis, generally speaking the Socialists have been more attuned to Catalan claims than the conservative Popular Party (PP).

His predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, was ousted in motion of no confidence Friday.

The 46 year-old Sanchez is now the prime minister in waiting.

"I am aware of the responsibility I am assuming, of the complex political moment our country is going through and I will rise to all the challenges with humility and dedication", Sanchez said after the vote to remove Rajoy from office.

Under a Spanish law that prevents a power vacuum, Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, who tabled the no-confidence motion, would immediately become the new leader of the 19-country eurozone's No. 4 economy and a prominent European Union leader at a time when the bloc faces numerous challenges.

"It's been an honour - there is none bigger - to have been Spain's prime minister", he told parliament, with lawmakers from his conservative Popular Party (PP) giving him a standing ovation.

Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez has been sworn in as Spain's prime minister by King Felipe VI.

But the coming months could be hard for Sanchez to navigate, with a minority Socialist government needing to please Basque regionalists, Catalan separatists and anti-austerity parties in order to pass legislation in parliament. He did so without swearing on the Bible or Crucifix, a first for a Spanish prime minister since the restoration of the democracy.

But Anton Losada, a politics professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela who has written a book about Rajoy, said the party may not be completely over.

After years of anger over the scandals tainting the PP, corruption finally got the better of the party and sealed Rajoy's downfall.

Madrid fired Catalonia's government and took control of the running of the region after an illegal and unsuccessful declaration of independence by the Catalan parliament in October. "This is just about Mr Sanchez's ambitions", he said.

He earned a stunning victory to return as leader in May a year ago when he won an internal party election against Susana Diaz, the candidate anointed by the party's powerbrokers, including former prime ministers Felipe Gonzalez and Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

- 2015: PP loses its absolute majority in general elections while Rajoy seeks a second term as premier.

As such, even if he has pledged to govern long enough to restore "institutional stability" before calling early elections, Sanchez's new government will likely be highly unstable.

180 votes to 169, with one abstention.

Parliament is to debate whether to support the Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.The political future of Mariano Rajoy hangs in the ... As the second most voted party in the 2016 election, the Socialists proposed Sanchez, who regained the party leadership past year after an internal revolt that sidelined him for months.

Like this: