Spain's acting PM Mariano Rajoy loses parliament confidence vote

Spain has moved closer to having to call its third election in a year after the country’s acting premier was denied a second term in office.

Mariano Rajoy of the centre-right People’s Party lost a parliamentary confidence vote receiving 170 of the 176 needed to form a government.

The opposition Socialists led a wave of party leaders voting against him including the austerity alliance Unidos Podemos.

Spain's Socialists to vote against government, raising risk of new election— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 31, 2016

Those who voted in favour of a second term for Rajoy included the anti-corruption Ciudadanos (Citizens) party and a small party from the Canary Islands.

Rajoy now faces a second vote on Friday (Sept 2) in which a simple majority is needed. But this would require one or more of the other parties to abstain.

But many view Rajoy as being tarnished by a long series of corruption scandals involving his party and unpopular austerity policies.

If he loses Friday’s vote, Rajoy has two months to try to form a government, before triggering another election which could then fall on Christmas Day.
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