Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy Admits Defeat Ahead of No-Confidence Motion

| June 1 , 2018 , 15:10 IST

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy admitted defeat ahead of a vote of no-confidence on Friday, clearing the way for his arch-rival Pedro Sanchez, leader of the Socialist opposition to take immediate power before elections can take place.

During a speech to the Parliament on Friday morning, the former PM Rajoy said that it was 'an honour' to serve the country and admitted that 'the no-confidence motion is likely to go through'. Rajoy would have become the first Spanish premier to lose a no-confidence motion in Spain since the nation became a democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

ALSO READ: ISIS New Video Poses Threat To Algeria, Spain

The no-confidence motion had been called to vote by Sanchez after Rajoy's conservative party was caught taking kickbacks in exchange for awarding public contracts.

"Your isolation, Mr. Rajoy, is the epitaph of a political period, yours, which is over," Sanchez, a former economics professor, had said to the parliament on Thursday.

"Staying on as prime minister is harmful and is a burden not only for Spain but also for your party," he said.

The 46-year-old Sanchez had demanded last week that Rajoy step down from his post as Spain's Prime Minister, alleging that Rajoy had lost credibility after a former treasurer of his ruling People's Party (PP) was sentenced to 33 years in jail for fraud and money laundering.

Rajoy's spokesman had on Wednesday rejected any chances of a resignation saying that it would 'imply guilt' when the Prime Minister has 'done nothing wrong'.