Spanish PM rules out early elections but plans government reshuffle

Rajoy says he will soon make changes in his administration and the PP to win back voters

Miguel González
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Brussels on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Brussels on Wednesday.S. LECOCQ (EFE)

Despite rumors to the contrary, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will not be bringing forward this year’s general election, which is expected to be held in November.

Instead, the Popular Party (PP) leader said on Wednesday that he wanted to make the most of what is left of this political term.

“There is still time to do things,” he said at a Brussels summit bringing together European Union, Latin American and Caribbean countries. “The measures we adopted are starting to yield fruit; we are at a recovery point that we need to take advantage of.”

I am the first one to be aware of it: there are things we need to do better”

PM Mariano Rajoy

But Rajoy also unveiled plans for upcoming changes in his government team and within the conservative party itself.

“Before this month is out, I will have to make some decisions,” he said, without providing any specifics.

The goal of the government reshuffle will be to “make the most of the possibilities of economic recovery and job creation.”

As for the party changes, Rajoy openly admitted that “there are things we need to rectify, and I am the first one to be aware of it: there are things we need to do better.”

His statement comes shortly after municipal and regional elections in which the PP lost most of its absolute majorities and is set to yield even more power in places where it managed very narrow victories.

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In Madrid, for instance, the PP is expected to be kept out of City Hall by a leftist alliance of Socialists and the Ahora Madrid bloc, which includes anti-austerity party Podemos.

These losses have been widely attributed to the corruption cases affecting the conservatives. Now, Rajoy is hoping that his changes, combined with the recent economic upturn, will win back the voters who made different choices on May 24.

“We want to win the next general election,” said Rajoy.

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