- Created: Tuesday, 16 October 2018 14:57
- Written by Juanjo Rivas
On 31 May, the Spanish conservative president Mariano Rajoy lost a parliamentary vote of no confidence and was forced out of office. His fate was sealed when the Basque Nationalist Party joined the anti-austerity Podemos and the two biggest Catalan parties in supporting the motion put by the social-democratic PSOE. The vote followed new evidence of widespread corruption in Rajoy’s People’s Party (PP). On 2 June, the leader of the social democrats, Pedro Sanchez, was sworn in as president. Juanjo Rivas reports from Madrid.
In late May, the Spanish courts ruled over the long-running ‘kickbacks-for-contracts’ Gürtel case, concluding that Rajoy’s PP had carried out fraudulent funding and accounting since 1989, and systematically accepted bribes from entrepreneurs in return for licences to manage public works. It became evident that Rajoy himself had lied in court. The PSOE rushed to present a vote of no confidence and started talks with all the parties to oust Rajoy. This led to some unprecedented events. For the first time a vote of no confidence succeeded in the substitution of a president and the formation of a new cabinet with members of the opposition, led by a leader who was forced to resign by his party as MP only a few months ago.