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Socialist Party abstentions see Mariano Rajoy re-elected Prime Minister of Spain


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Socialist Party abstentions see Mariano Rajoy re-elected Prime Minister of Spain

Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s embattled Popular Party leader, has been re-elected prime minister after two inconclusive elections and ten months of political stalemate.

170 MPs were in favour of the conservative leader’s appointment, 111 were against and there were 68 abstentions.

Rajoy says he will choose his cabinet on Thursday (November 3) and officially take up his position at the head of what will be a minority government on Friday (November 4).

His appointment is largely thanks to the PSOE Socialist Party’s decision to abstain from voting in the congressional ballot. Sixteen Socialists also voted against re-electing Rajoy.

Others, such as the left-wing Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, also voted against him.

Spain had lacked a leader with full authority since December last year (2015), due to parliament failing to agree on a candidate both then and in June, 2016.

During the vote, thousands of demonstrators marched from the area around the parliament in Madrid towards the central Puerta del Sol square to protest against Rajoy’s re-election.

According to the police, 6,000 people marched through the capital. The rally’s organisers put the figure closer to 150,000.

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