Explainer: What happens now the no-confidence motion against Rajoy has succeeded?

These are the legal steps that must be taken following today’s vote in Spanish Congress

Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez.
Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez.Kiko Huesca (EFE)

The no-confidence motion against Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy passed on Friday with 180 “yes” votes, four more than the 176 required for an absolute majority.

The government must immediately present Rajoy's resignation, and Socialist leader (PSOE) Pedro Sánchez – who is the replacement candidate – “shall be understood to be appointed” by the parliament as prime minister. King Felipe VI will then officially name him the new head of the Spanish government.

If the motion passes, King Felipe VI will name Pedro Sánchez as the prime minister of Spain

According to lawyers from Congress, this automatic process is due to the “constructive nature of the no-confidence motion.” In other words, Sánchez does not have to be invested in a separate vote because the very motion implies the trust of the Spanish parliament. “The process of a no-confidence motion is actually an alternative to an ordinary investiture. It has the same effect – it establishes the prime minister of the government – but through different channels,” the lawyers explain.

Similarly, Article 179 of Congress Regulations indicates that the speaker of Congress “will make it immediately known to the king and to the prime minister” that the no-confidence motion has been approved. This statement “must accompany the decree naming the new prime minister,” the lawyers add. The decree must be published in the Official State Bulletin (BOE) the day after the no-confidence vote is approved.

English version by Melissa Kitson.


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