Opposition leader becomes Spain’s new PM

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Madrid, June 1 (IANS) Pedro Sanchez, the leader of Spain’s opposition Socialist Party, on Friday became the country’s new Prime Minister after winning a parliamentary vote of no confidence that has abruptly removed the incumbent Popular Party from power.

Sanchez, 46, instantly became the Prime Minister-elect when he secured the needed majority of 176 votes out of 350 seats in the lower chamber, reports Efe news.

A loose multi-party coalition decided to oust incumbent premier Mariano Rajoy and his right-wing Popular Party following a national court verdict in which several of its former top officials were found guilty of setting up a vast network of corruption involved in fraudulent financial dealings including bribery, embezzlement, forgery, misuse of public funds, money laundering, tax crimes and influence peddling, among others.

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Rajoy is the first prime minister in modern Spanish history to be defeated in a no-confidence motion, the BBC reported.

He was the prime minister since 2011.

Earlier on Friday, he admitted facing defeat and told MPs that it has been “an honour to leave a better Spain than I found”.

–IANS

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