Rajoy loses confidence vote
Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has failed to win a confidence vote despite receiving the support of the centrist Ciudadanos (Citizens) party.
After weeks of discussions the Citizens (C) party and Rajoy’s People’s Party (PP) had finally agreed a 150 point plan of government but they still fell short of a majority in parliament. MPs decided to vote 180 to 170 against supporting a new government led by Mr Rajoy, plunging the country into an ever deeper crisis.
The crisis started in December 2015 when the People’s Party emerged as the largest party at the general election but without sufficient votes to form a government and with no support from other parties in the parliament. That eventually led to a second election in June this year and, although the People’s Party did a little better by winning an extra 14 seats, they were still short of an overall majority. With the support of Ciudadanos and their 32 seats the PP had 137 seats. That gave them 169 seats but short of the 176 needed for an overall majority in the 350 seat Congress of Deputies. The two parties also received support from the one Member of Parliament from the Canarian Coalition–Canarian Nationalist Party (CC–PNC).
Since it seems highly unlikely that the main opposition Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) will be able to cobble together a coalition the most likely outcome is another election later this year.