Spanish PM's future in balance
June 1, 2018 -- Mariano Rajoy’s tenure as one of Europe’s longest-serving prime ministers is hanging in the balance, with the opposition Socialists close to winning enough support to push through a no-confidence vote in Spain’s fragmented parliament.
Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the centre-left Socialist party (PSOE), brought a no-confidence motion after Spain’s High Court handed long jail terms to dozens of people linked to the ruling People’s Party (PP) in a long-running corruption trial, known as the Gurtel affair.
But the PSOE, with just 84 seats in 350-seat parliament, needs the backing of the leftist Podemos party and smaller groups, including Catalan pro-independence parties and Basque nationalists.
Rajoy’s minority government has struggled after inconclusive elections in 2015 and 2016, and is under fire for the perceived inability to solve secession crisis in Catalonia.
Ciudadanos (Citizens), a centre-right party, riding high in many polls thanks to hard line on Catalan separatism, is pushing for immediate elections.