Spain’s Rajoy forced out as arch-ri­val takes over

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

Spain’s par­lia­ment on Fri­day ousted Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Rajoy in a no-con­fi­dence vote sparked by fury over his party’s cor­rup­tion woes, with his Socialist arch-ri­val Pe­dro Sanchez au­to­mat­i­cally tak­ing over.

An ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity of 180 law­mak­ers voted for the mo­tion to loud ap­plause and shouts of “Yes we can,” con­vert­ing Rajoy into the first prime min­is­ter to be ousted by such a vote since 1977.

The be­spec­ta­cled 63-year-old leader got up and shook hands with Sanchez be­fore leav­ing the lower house with­out a word.

Rajoy had al­ready ad­mit­ted de­feat min­utes be­fore the vote, know­ing that an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity of law­mak­ers as di­verse as Cata­lan sep­a­ratists and Basque na­tion­al­ists had pledged their sup­port for the no-con­fi­dence mo­tion.

“It’s been an honor – there is none big­ger – to have been Spain’s prime min­is­ter,” he told par­lia­ment.

Sanchez, Spain’s 46-year-old op­po­si­tion leader, had in­sti­gated the no-con­fi­dence mo­tion last week af­ter a court re­vealed de­tails of a vast sys­tem of bribes given to for­mer Pop­u­lar Party of­fi­cials in ex­change for lu­cra­tive pub­lic con­tracts be­tween 1999-2005.

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