Why this story matters:
Conservative leader Mariano Rajoy is the first prime minister in modern Spanish history to be defeated in a no-confidence motion. The motion was supported by seven political parties, including the Socialists, the radical-left, and Catalan and Basque nationalists. For the first time in years, the parties put aside their differences to oust the PP ruling party after the judiciary sentenced 29 members of the party in a mega-graft trial.
Now comes a difficult time for new Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. The Socialists only hold a quarter of the seats in Parliament, so it might be constructive to include independent, non-aligned members in his coalition.
Even though the other political parties supported the no-confidence motion against Rajoy, they may not automatically support the new government.
Ahead of Sánchez also lies the difficult question of Catalan independence, and troubling issues regarding free speech -- not to mention a mistrusted judiciary.
Details from the story:
- Virtually unknown in 2014, Pedro Sanchez has lost two elections and recently emerged victorious from an internal party struggle, so very few thought he would ever make it to the presidency.
- Spain's constitution states that the party presenting a no-confidence motion must be prepared to govern and replace the deposed prime minister if a parliamentary majority backs it.
- Some parties, like Ciudadanos, which had been doing well in opinion polls but did not support the no-confidence motion against Rajoy, are asking for snap elections.