Spanish former PM Mariano Rajoy out of office after no-confidence vote clearing the way for Sánchez

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Series Details June 2018
Publication Date 01/06/2018
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On 1 June 2018, the Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy faced a no-confidence vote before the Parliament.

The confidence motion was asked by Pedro Sánchez (leader of the PSOE) on 25 May 2018, after the Spanish High Court condemned former members of the PP (the ruling party in Spain) for corruption and bribery.

Sánchez secured a majority in the vote after gaining support from various smaller parties, including the Basque Nationalist Party. 180 MPs backed the motion, 169 voted against, with one abstention. He managed to assemble an unlikely coalition — labeled “Frankenstein” by rivals — with the far-left Podemos, two Catalan pro-independence groups and the Basque nationalist party, all of whom had refused to endorse the Socialist for the premiership in the past.

The former PM Rajoy is the first prime minister in modern Spanish history to be defeated in a no-confidence motion. Mr Rajoy admitted facing defeat and told MPs that it has been "an honour to leave a better Spain than the one I found".

Once the motion passed, the government must immediately present the resignation of Rajoy and Socialist leader Sánchez – who is the replacement candidate – “shall be understood to be appointed” by the parliament as prime minister. King Felipe VI will then name him the head of the Spanish government.

According to lawyers from Congress, this automatic process is due to the “constructive character of the no-confidence motion.” In other words, Sánchez does not have to be invested in a separate vote because the very motion implies the trust of the Spanish parliament.

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El País, 01.06.18: Explainer: What happens now the no-confidence motion against Rajoy has succeeded?
Reuters, 01.06.18: Socialist chief Pedro Sanchez set to become Spain's Prime Minister
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Independent, 01.06.18: Rajoy out: Spain's government collapses after no confidence vote
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LSE European Institute: EuroppBlog, 02.06.18: Rajoy loses power in Spain: What happens now?
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CAPX, 04.06.18: Spain’s road to nowhere

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