Mariano Rajoy has been sworn in for a second term as Spain’s prime minister after winning a confidence vote in parliament to end the country’s 10-month spell without a government.
The leader of the conservative People’s party (PP) secured the necessary simple majority in Saturday’s vote but will face a battle to govern in a deeply divided congress of deputies and amid the proliferation of corruption scandals that have engulfed his party.
Thousands of people took to the streets around congress in the run-up to the vote to protest against Rajoy and the corruption allegations and spending cuts that marked his first term in office. Although the Spanish Socialist party (PSOE) decided to abstain in the vote to end the impasse and allow Rajoy’s return to power, it has vowed to fight his minority government every step of the way.
The socialists told Rajoy on Saturday that they had abstained for the good of the country and not to “back your odious reforms nor to pardon the grave corruption” within the PP.