Spain's ousted PM Mariano Rajoy: key dates

OSCAR DEL POZO

OSCAR DEL POZO

"The PP has had corrupt people, I acknowledge it but the PP is not a corrupt party", he said, hitting back at the Socialists, who have also been tainted by scandal over the years.

In Spain, a no-confidence motion is designed not just to oust the standing prime minister but to choose a replacement.

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

The end of Rajoy's more than six-year reign as Spanish prime minister was the first ouster of a serving leader by parliament in four decades of democracy and brought a rare success for a center-left party in Europe in recent times.

"Mr Sanchez is concerned because he is not doing any better in the polls, and he has realised that he will never reach government through elections", he said.

One lawmaker abstained. Sanchez will be sworn in Saturday at 11 a.m. (0900 GMT, 5 a.m. EDT) by King Felipe VI at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid and will appoint his Cabinet over the coming days. A new fiscal policy and the extension of welfare rights are also part of his agenda within the PSOE.Academic and politician - The 46-year-old leader of the second-biggest party after Rajoy's conservatives first joined the PSOE in 1993, worked as a political adviser in the European Parliament and at the United Nations during the Kosovo war.

"Rajoy might survive for a while, because it's very hard that the other parties can come to an agreement to remove him", said Andrew Dowling, an expert in Spanish politics at Cardiff University in Wales.

Mr Sanchez completed his spectacular turnaround after seizing the opportunity provided by last week's court verdict in a massive corruption case involving Mr Rajoy's conservative People's Party.

He added the PSOE had also had their share of corruption scandals and questioned the party's and its leader's sincerity in calling the no confidence vote.

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Sanchez had been Rajoy's most loyal backer of a government takeover of Catalonia's regional affairs following an illegal and unsuccessful declaration of independence by the region's parliament in October.

It is the first time a Spanish prime minister has come to power as the result of a no-confidence vote, with Rajoy obtaining 169 votes against the motion, and 180 in favour and one abstention.

In May 2017, Sanchez regained the PSOE leadership just seven months after being ousted in a coup when he refused to allow Rajoy's PP to form a government.

It was the sweetest of victories - Mr Rajoy beat his Socialist rival twice in elections in 2015 and...

Referring to Mariano Rajoy's outgoing government, Mr Rivera told reporters that "we had to censure this government, but not in this way".

The leaders of both parties confirmed they would support the motion yesterday evening.

Sanchez's speech in parliament was not particularly ambitious where the wealthy divided region is concerned, he says.

In order to cobble together the support to cast out Rajoy, Sanchez promised to open talks with Torra in order to get the votes he needed from the Catalan pro-secession lawmakers in the national parliament.

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