As it happened: Pedro Sánchez becomes new Spanish prime minister

No-confidence motion triumphs, with deputies in Congress casting 180 votes in favor of the ouster of Mariano Rajoy, with 169 votes against and one abstention

The handshake in Congress this morning between Sánchez and Rajoy
The handshake in Congress this morning between Sánchez and RajoyUly Martín / EL PAÍS

Spanish Congress has just conducted a historic no-confidence vote that has removed Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy from office.

This is the first time in Spanish democratic history that a head of government has been ousted. Rajoy, 63, refused to step down ahead of the vote, saying he had the trust of the people who voted for him at the 2016 election.

Rajoy is being replaced by Socialist (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez, whose 84 seats were insufficient for the majority of 176 required in the 350-seat house. This forced the PSOE to seek support from a range of other parties, including regional nationalists in the Basque Country and Catalonia.

The motion was successful after 180 deputies voted to unseat Rajoy.

The no-confidence motion was filed by the main opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) last week in the wake of a court ruling in a sweeping corruption scheme known as Gürtel. Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) was fined for having benefited from the kickbacks-for-contracts network.

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