Spain’s Rajoy looks unlikely to survive no-confidence vote
The Basque Nationalist Party will vote against Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in a no-confidence motion, Cadena Ser radio and La Sexta television said on Thursday, in a move that would almost certainly force him from office.
Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez needs an absolute majority of 176 votes to become Spain’s new Prime Minister, and information from various parties suggested he had now secured 180.
Rajoy’s departure would trigger a second political crisis in southern Europe, further unnerving financial markets already wrongfooted by failed attempts to form a government in Italy three months after a national election.
It was not clear if Rajoy could resign before the vote takes place on Friday to avoid the humiliation of becoming the first Spanish Prime Minister to lose a no-confidence vote. Rajoy did not attend the afternoon session of the debate on Thursday.
If he did, the motion would automatically become groundless and the government of the People’s Party would go into caretaker mode until a new prime minister is sworn in, something which could take several weeks or months.
If the vote did go ahead and Rajoy lost it, then Sanchez would immediately become Prime Minister.