Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s acting prime minister and leader of its conservative Popular Party (PP), was re-elected on Saturday (29/10/2016) after winning a parliamentary vote. The news means Spain has its first fully functioning government since December, when a general election left no party with a majority. Members of the Spanish Parliament voted, 170 to 111, in favor of Mr. Rajoy, with 68 Socialist lawmakers abstaining. Now with this, Spain has its first fully functioning government since December 2015, when a general election left no party with a majority.
Mr. Rajoy is set to form a new conservative government in the coming week, after two inconclusive national elections and 10 months of stalemate. After the December election Spain tried to put together a coalition government, but the process was complicated by the emergence of the Left-wing Podemos party and the Ciudadanos, as well as other regional parties.
Rajoy’s reputation for sitting back and letting others make the political weather belied the manoeuvrings of a skilled tactician, he said. Far from doing nothing after inconclusive elections in June and December, Rajoy had simply been following a plan.
Little about Mariano Rajoy
- Rajoy was raised in the Galicia region of northern Spain.
- He studied law at the University of Santiago de Compostela, receiving a degree in 1978. After briefly working as a land registrar, he embarked on a career in politics, being elected when 26 years old as a regional deputy for what would become thePopular Party (Partido Popular; PP).
- He served in local and regional government through most of the 1980s.