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2018 vote of no confidence in the government of Mariano Rajoy

A motion of no confidence in the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy was held between 31 May and 1 June 2018. The motion was registered by the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) on 25 May after the ruling People's Party (PP) was found to have profited from the illegal kickbacks-for-contracts scheme of the Gürtel case. The motion was successful and resulted in the downfall of Mariano Rajoy's government and in PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez becoming new Prime Minister of Spain. Rajoy announced on 5 June 2018 his resignation as PP leader after having led the party for 14 years.[1][2]

2018 vote of no confidence in the government of Mariano Rajoy
Mariano Rajoy felicita al nuevo presidente del Gobierno Pedro Sánchez (2018-06-01).jpg
Outgoing prime minister, Mariano Rajoy (right), congratulating incoming prime minister, Pedro Sánchez (left), upon losing the no confidence vote on 1 June 2018
Date31 May – 1 June 2018
LocationCongress of Deputies, Spain
CauseThe National Court confirming that the People's Party (PP) helped establish "a genuine and effective system of institutional corruption" at all levels of administration in the Gürtel case.
Participants
Outcome

Previously to his ousting, Rajoy had hinted at the possibility he may not seek re-election for a third term in office.[3][4] After resigning as PP leader, he confirmed his withdrawal from politics altogether,[5] vacating his seat in the Congress of Deputies and returning to his position as property registrar in Santa Pola.[6][7]

This was the fourth motion of no confidence since the Spanish transition to democracy and the first to be successful, as well the second to be submitted against Mariano Rajoy after the Unidos Podemos's motion in the previous year.[8]

Contents

ProvisionsEdit

The Spanish Constitution of 1978 requires for motions of no confidence to be proposed by, at least, one-tenth of the Congress of Deputies—35 out of 350. Following the German model, votes of no confidence in Spain are constructive, so the motion must also include an alternative candidate for Prime Minister. For a motion of no confidence to be successful, it has to be carried by an absolute majority in the Congress of Deputies. A minimum period of five days must pass after the motion's registration before it can come up for a vote. Other parties are entitled to submit alternative motions within the first two days from the registration.[9]

Concurrently, the Prime Minister is barred from dissolving the Cortes Generales and calling a general election while a motion of no confidence is pending. If the motion is successful, the incumbent Prime Minister must resign. Per the Constitution, the replacement candidate named in the motion is automatically deemed to have the confidence of the Congress of Deputies and is immediately appointed as Prime Minister by the Monarch. If unsuccessful, the signatories of the motion may not submit another during the same session.[9][10]

BackgroundEdit

 
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (seated bottom right), with the PP parliamentary group in the Congress of Deputies during the no confidence motion debate on 31 May 2018.

The motion was registered by the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) on 25 May after the ruling People's Party (PP) was found to have profited from the illegal kickbacks-for-contracts scheme of the Gürtel case, with the courts confirming the existence of an illegal accounting and financing structure that ran in parallel with the party's official one since the party's foundation in 1989.[11][12][13] The National Court confirmed the PP helped establish "a genuine and effective system of institutional corruption through the manipulation of central, autonomous and local public procurement"[14] while considering that Rajoy had not been "truthful" in his testimony as a witness during the trial.[15][16]

PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez announced that, should the motion be successful, he aimed for the establishment of a transitional government that would ensure the country's "governance" and recover "democratic normality" in the wake of the huge political crisis sparked as a result of the Gürtel sentence, then call for a snap general election.[17][18] Unidos Podemos (the alliance of Podemos and United Left), Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) and New Canaries (NCa) immediately announced their support of the motion.[19] Concurrently, Citizens (Cs) withdrew its support from the Rajoy government. However, it opposed the censure motion, and instead called for an early general election.[20][21]

Sources within the government and the PP acknowledged that the motion had real prospects of succeeding, as the support of PSOE and Unidos Podemos, together with that of peripheral nationalist parties, would be enough to win the vote.[22][23] On 26 May, the PSOE accepted calling an early election in order to try to court Cs into supporting the no confidence motion.[24][25] Rajoy's government admitted having lost control over the legislature and did not rule out a snap election for late 2018 or early 2019 even if it survived the motion.[26][27][28] On 31 May 2018, the PNV confirmed its support of the motion the next day, thus making Rajoy's defeat certain.[29] The PP was allegedly "in a state of shock", with hundreds of public offices about to be removed within days, with the whole party being forced into opposition and with Rajoy's future uncertain.[30]

Opinion pollsEdit

Opinion on the motion of no confidence
Polling firm/Commissioner Fieldwork date Sample size Support Reject Neither  ?
Invymark/laSexta[31] 28–29 May 2018 ? 58.6 38.1 N/A 3.3
IMOP/El Confidencial[32] 25–27 May 2018 756 54.6 35.4 8.8 1.2

VoteEdit

Motion of no confidence
Pedro Sánchez (PSOE)
Ballot → 1 June 2018
Required majority → 176 out of 350  Y
180 / 350
169 / 350
1 / 350
Absentees
0 / 350
Sources[33]

With the passage of the motion, Rajoy and his government immediately resigned; on 5 June 2018, Rajoy announced his resignation as People's Party leader.[1][2] According to the Constitution, Sánchez was automatically deemed to have the confidence of the legislature, and thus ascended as Prime Minister.[34] He was formally appointed by Royal Decree soon after the vote was certified, and sworn in by King Felipe VI on 2 June.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Rajoy se va: "Es lo mejor para mí, para el PP y para España"". El Mundo (in Spanish). 5 June 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Rajoy dimite como presidente del PP: "Es lo mejor para mí, para el partido y para España"". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 5 June 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  3. ^ Alcaraz, Mayte (29 January 2018). "Rajoy, pese a que no sabe si repetirá, quiso frenar las presiones para abrir la sucesión". ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  4. ^ Garea, Fernando (18 March 2018). "Dirigentes del PP ven a Pastor como posible sustituta de Rajoy". El Confidencial (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Rajoy: "Me he retirado de la política y vuelvo a donde estaba"". Agencia EFE (in Spanish). 20 June 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  6. ^ "La nueva vida del ciudadano Rajoy". El País (in Spanish). Madrid. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Rajoy renuncia a su acta de diputado". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). Barcelona. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  8. ^ "¿Qué es una moción de censura?: la cuarta en democracia, segunda contra Rajoy". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 25 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Qué hace falta para que la moción de censura a Rajoy salga adelante". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 25 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  10. ^ a b "The Spanish Constitution" (PDF). boe.es. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  11. ^ Jones, Sam (24 May 2018). "Court finds Spain's ruling party benefited from bribery scheme". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  12. ^ Jones, Sam (25 May 2018). "Spanish socialists file no-confidence motion against Mariano Rajoy". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  13. ^ Cortizo, Gonzalo (25 May 2018). "El PSOE registra en el Congreso la moción de censura contra Rajoy". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  14. ^ Vázquez, Ángeles (24 May 2018). "El PP y Correa tejieron "un sistema de corrupción institucional", según la Audiencia". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Might Spain be headed for a snap election?". The Economist. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  16. ^ Campos, Miguel Ángel (24 May 2018). "El testigo Rajoy no fue "verosímil" al negar la caja b". Cadena SER (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  17. ^ Cortizo, Gonzalo (25 May 2018). "Pedro Sánchez anuncia la moción de censura para formar "un gobierno del PSOE" y pide el voto de todos los partidos". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  18. ^ Romero, Juanma (25 May 2018). "Sánchez dice que primero será presidente y gobernará y luego convocará elecciones". El Confidencial (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  19. ^ Robles, Gemma; Santos, Pilar; Sánchez, Rosa María (25 May 2018). "ERC y PDeCAT se inclinan por apoyar la moción de censura de Sánchez contra Rajoy". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  20. ^ Vázquez, Ángeles (25 May 2018). "El PP, ante la crisis más profunda de la 'era Rajoy' tras la sentencia de la Gürtel". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  21. ^ Esteban, Paloma (25 May 2018). "Rivera pide elecciones anticipadas pero descarta la moción de censura de Sánchez". El Confidencial (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  22. ^ Cortizo, Gonzalo; Aduriz, Íñigo (25 May 2018). "Moncloa asume que es "posible" que la moción de censura contra Rajoy salga adelante". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  23. ^ Palomera, Esther (25 May 2018). "Rajoy entra en tiempo de descuento". El Huffington Post (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  24. ^ "El PSOE acepta convocar elecciones en "unos meses" si Ciudadanos apoya la moción de censura de Pedro Sánchez". eldiario.es (in Spanish). 26 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  25. ^ "El PSOE acepta la condición de Ciudadanos de convocar elecciones tras la moción de censura". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 26 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  26. ^ Cortizo, Gonzalo (26 May 2018). "El Gobierno admite la pérdida de control sobre la legislatura". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  27. ^ "Rajoy confía en superar la moción de censura y convocar elecciones para marzo". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 26 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Rajoy, sin margen para seguir". El País (in Spanish). 27 May 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  29. ^ Gil, Andrés (31 May 2018). "La corrupción tumba a Mariano Rajoy". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  30. ^ Cortizo, Gonzalo (31 May 2018). "El PP aborda dividido el debate sobre el futuro de Mariano Rajoy al frente del partido". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  31. ^ "Barómetro de laSexta: más de un 58% de encuestados está a favor de una moción de censura que divide a los votantes de Ciudadanos". laSexta (in Spanish). 30 May 2018.
  32. ^ "El 46,6% de los electores apoya la moción de censura aunque sea con los independentistas". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 29 May 2018.
  33. ^ "Sesión Plenaria Sesión nº 122" (in Spanish). Congreso de los Diputados. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  34. ^ "Who is Spain's new prime minister Pedro Sanchez?". Reuters, AFP. DW. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.