PSOE's Pedro Sanchez becomes Spain's new PM after Rajoy is voted out

PSOE's Pedro Sanchez becomes Spain's new PM after Rajoy is voted out

The end of Rajoy's more than six-year reign as Spanish prime minister was the first ouster of a serving leader by parliament in four decades of democracy.

After the vote result was announced, members of Podemos smiled and hugged each other before bursting into a chant of "Yes, we can" - the slogan of their party, a product of the widespread anger at spending cuts imposed by Rajoy's first government at the height of the euro zone crisis. The National Court in Madrid last week handed down prison sentences to the tune of a combined 351 years to 29 people in connection with a slush fund set up in the 1990s and early 2000s to illegally finance PP campaigns.

Aitor Esteban of the Basque PNV nationalist party, whose support proved decisive for the motion's success, on Thursday warned that such a minority government would be "weak and hard, complicated".

In its ruling, the court said the credibility of Rajoy's testimony "should be questioned".

"Your isolation, Mr. Rajoy, is the epitaph of a political period, yours, which is over", the 46-year-old former economics professor said in parliament.

Spain's stock market rose after the parliamentary vote, to trade almost 2 percent higher on Thursday's close, while the country's borrowing costs fell, soothed by Sanchez's commitment to respecting a fiscally conservative budget passed by Rajoy.

In order to push through the no-confidence motion, the Socialists, who hold just 84 of the parliament's 350 seats, had to cosy up to parties they had previously clashed with, like Catalan separatists and the anti-establishment Podemos.

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Spain's center-right Ciudadanos (Citizens) party is vowing fierce opposition to the incoming minority Socialist government, urging prime minister-designate Pedro Sanchez to call an early general election.

Speaking shortly after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy lost a confidence vote in Madrid, Seibert praised the economic reforms of the outgoing leader - a conservative ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

There were 180 votes in favour, 169 against and one abstention.

He says the corruption accusations concern only a tiny number of politicians and no current members of government.

But his term in office was also marred by a series of corruption scandals involving former PP members.

"I am aware of the responsibility I am assuming, of the complex political moment our country is going through, and I will rise to all the challenges with humility and dedication", Sanchez told reporters.

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