Spain’s Popular Party government falls after no-confidence vote
2 June 2018
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy lost a no-confidence vote—180 to 169, with one abstention—in congress yesterday, leading to the fall of his minority Popular Party (PP) government. Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez is the new prime minister.
The PSOE’s no-confidence motion was supported by the pseudo-left/Stalinist Unidos Podemos coalition and regional nationalist parties—the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) in Catalonia, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) and EH Bildu in the Basque Country, Compromís in Valencia and the New Canaries Islands party.
In 40 years of democratic rule since the end of the Franco regime, there has never been a successful no-confidence vote before. Its unprecedented nature indicates the deep crisis facing the country. In 2011, the PP won a landslide victory in the general election with 45 percent of the vote and 186 seats. But in October 2016, the PP had to be put into power as a minority government, with the support of the right-wing neo-liberal Ciudadanos (Citizens) party and the abstention of the PSOE after 10 months of stalemate. No one party had managed to win an outright victory in the election in December 2015 or the one that followed in June 2016.
The World Socialist Web Site wrote that as a result of the PSOE’s rotten agreement: “The new government is the weakest since the end of the Franco dictatorship in the 1970s, and rules under conditions in which the bipartisan arrangements, in which power alternated between the right-wing PP and the ‘centre-left’ PSOE for four decades, have been thoroughly exposed as a result of the austerity agenda pursued by both…