Large majority of Spain's MPs back abdication of King Juan Carlos

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Large majority of Spain's MPs back abdication of King Juan Carlos

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A large majority of Spain’s MPs have backed a bill formalising the abdication of King Juan Carlos.

Both the ruling centre-right People’s Party and the opposition Socialist party supported the bill and agreed to the accession of his son Crown Prince Felipe.

Jesús Posada, President of the Spanish Parliament, announced the outcome of the vote.

“The law supporting the abdication of His Royal Highness King Don Juan Carlos, the Premier of Bourbon, has been approved and will immediately be submitted to the Senate,” he said.

The bill was passed in Congress by 299 votes in favour to 19 against, while 23 MPs abstained from voting.

According to the Spanish government, the transition will need to be approved by parliament as it will require a change to the 1978 constitution.

Although Wednesday’s vote focused purely on the formalities of the abdication, for some it raised broader questions about Spain’s constitutional future.

Prince Felipe will take the reins at a tricky time. His father’s abdication has provoked calls for a referendum on the monarchy.

However, on Wednesday both Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Socialist leader Alfredo Rubalcaba reaffirmed their loyalty to the monarchy and the constitution.