Spain Re-Elects Popular Prime Minister

Spain Re-Elects Popular Prime Minister

MADRID — Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain won a second term on Sunday in a vote that could help quell an independence drive in the country’s prosperous northeastern region of Catalonia.

With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, Mr. Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party had won 137 seats in Parliament, an increase of 14 from four years ago, while finishing first across much of Spain. The party fell short, however, of winning a majority.

In Catalonia, which has been roiled by the separatist campaign, Mr. Rajoy’s party won just three seats, the same number as in 2011. The separatists appeared to have consolidated their hold on the region by winning 72 seats.

Mr. Rajoy’s victory was widely seen as reflecting Spaniards’ relief at the country’s economic recovery after years of stagnation and high unemployment.

Spain and Portugal have elected a new prime minister. Spain’s conservative Popular Party won a landslide victory in the country’s general election, with almost all the votes counted.

The People Party, led by Mariano Rajoy, has an absolute majority in the lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies.

Mr Rajoy said he would form a stable government despite Spain’s economic and financial problems.

The results leave the outgoing Socialists with their worst electoral result since democracy returned to Spain after the death of Gen Francisco Franco in 1975.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had been in office since 2004 and chose not to stand for another term.

It is a great honour to have won this election and I can assure you that I will be loyal to your hopes and expectations,” Mr Rajoy told supporters in Madrid.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain won a second term on Sunday, as voters rejected new parties that had campaigned to shake up the country’s political establishment.

With nearly all votes counted, Mr. Rajoy’s governing Popular Party had about 33 percent of the vote, followed by the Socialist Worker’s Party with 22 percent, according to preliminary results. But the election was notable for the emergence of two new parties — We Can and Citizens — that siphoned support from both of Spain’s political giants.

Mr. Rajoy, who came to power in 2011 after elections that produced a hung Parliament, has presided over an economic recovery while also pushing through unpopular spending cuts and tax increases to deal with Spain’s deficit. Many Spaniards remain angry at his handling of corruption scandals involving members of his party and austerity measures that have left many families struggling to make ends meet.

The two new parties were expected to win about 20 percent of the vote combined. Both ran on populist platforms, promising greater transparency and accountability from politicians.

MADRID — Mariano Rajoy won re-election as Spanish prime minister on Saturday after five years of austerity that helped contain the country’s debt crisis but left it with a crushing unemployment rate.

Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party was projected by exit polls to win 135 seats in the 350-seat parliament. That would give him a comfortable majority, but fall short of the 176 seats needed for an absolute majority.

The exit polls showed his main rival, the Socialist Party, winning 85 seats. The upstart leftist party Podemos was projected to get 69 seats and a center-right group called Ciudadanos got 32. The results will be confirmed in coming days as votes are counted across the country and abroad, where millions of Spaniards live and work.

Spain is still suffering from the aftereffects of one of Europe’s worst housing crises. After a decade-long boom, property prices collapsed in 2008 and took down several banks with them. A 45 percent youth unemployment rate has forced out many young people who have gone abroad to find work.

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s ruling Socialists won a second term in office on Sunday, but must rely on leftist allies to form a government after Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero fell just short of an absolute parliamentary majority.

The Socialists took 169 seats in the 350-seat parliament, compared with 153 for the conservative opposition People’s Party, according to almost complete official results.

The result was broadly in line with opinion polls and reflected the battered economy’s recovery from recession and Zapatero’s popularity, despite the rise of unemployment to nearly 20 percent.

Spain’s conservative Popular Party has won a second term in office, according to near-complete election results Monday.

The party has won around 30% of the vote and 137 seats in Parliament. It is expected to get another 20 seats from allies, giving it a clear parliamentary majority. The results show a marked fall from 2011 when the party won 44% of the vote and 186 seats.

Incumbent Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will now serve another four years in office. He had promised to create more jobs and work on improving Spain’s economy after the country was hit hard by the Eurozone crisis.

“We haven’t been able to do everything we wanted, but we have done what we could,” Mr Rajoy said Monday night. “Now we are going to carry on.”

The main opposition group, the Socialist Party, came second with 85 seats, a drop from 110 in 2011. It had been hoping for a better showing under new leader Pedro Sanchez who took over last year.

The anti-austerity Podemos party came third with 69 seats, followed by centrist Ciudadanos with 40 seats – its first entry into Parliament since it was founded in 2006.

The conservative People’s Party won Spain’s national election Sunday, but fell short of the parliamentary majority needed to govern on its own.

With nearly all ballots counted, the People’s Party won 44 percent of the vote, which would give it 186 seats in Parliament. The governing Socialist Party won about 30 percent of the vote — or 110 seats. Turnout was about 69 percent.

The results confirm a trend from regional elections earlier this year, when voters punished Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for his handling of a severe economic crisis that has forced him to raise taxes and slash spending.

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