Saturday 29 April 2017

Spanish acting PM fails to win confidence vote in parliament

Spain's acting Prime Minister and People's Party leader Mariano Rajoy
Spain's acting Prime Minister and People's Party leader Mariano Rajoy

Jesus Aguado in Madrid

Spain's acting prime minister lost a parliamentary confidence vote for a second term after he failed to win enough support from the opposition, bringing the country closer to a potential third election in a year.

Mariano Rajoy, of the centre-right People's Party (PP), received 170 votes of support,, falling short of the minimum 176 needed to form a government. He needed the support of the Socialists, who voted unanimously against him, to win the required absolute majority.

Spain's lack of a functioning government since elections in June and December, and the resulting political deadlock, have stalled investment and there are signs it could be starting to limit a strong economic recovery.

Liberal newcomer Ciudadanos voted in favour of Rajoy, as did a small party from the Canary Islands region. The Socialists, anti-austerity alliance Unidos Podemos, and regional parties from the Basque Country and Catalonia voted against him.

Mr Rajoy now faces a second vote today in which delegates can abstain and a simple majority would suffice to allow him to form a PP-led minority government.

He would need just 11 abstentions to win this second vote, but a loss is also likely if the Socialists do not cede.

Irish Independent

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