Spanish PM To Be Ousted In “No Confidence” Vote

Politico reports:

Mariano Rajoy’s time as Spain’s prime minister appears to be over after the opposition Socialists secured parliamentary backing for ousting the conservative leader. Lawmakers from the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) announced Thursday that they would back Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez’s motion of no confidence in Rajoy in a vote to be held Friday.

With the PNV’s support, and that of the far-left Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties, which is all but guaranteed, Rajoy will be forced out and replaced as PM by Sánchez on Friday. If the parties vote as they say they will, only a last-minute resignation can prevent Rajoy from becoming the first Spanish prime minister to be ousted in a motion of no confidence.

The BBC reports:

Mr Sánchez tabled the motion of no confidence after the PP was implicated in a huge corruption scandal. He said Mr Rajoy, 63, had failed to take responsibility for his party’s involvement, which came to light last week after one of its former treasurers was given a 33-year jail sentence.

The High Court in Madrid convicted Luis Bárcenas of receiving bribes, money laundering and tax crimes. Many Spanish voters, exasperated by corruption scandals involving the traditional centre-right PP and centre-left Socialist parties, have abandoned them for newcomers like the left-wing Podemos (We Can) and centrist Ciudadanos (Citizens), as well as regional parties.