Pedro Sánchez sworn in as Spain’s prime minister

Socialist leader becomes PM after successfully ousting predecessor Mariano Rajoy

Spain’s new prime minister Pedro Sánchez, King Felipe VI  and former prime minister Mariano Rajoy pose during a swearing-in ceremony at the Zarzuela Palace  in Madrid. Photograph: Emilio Naranjo - Pool/Getty Images

Spain’s new prime minister Pedro Sánchez, King Felipe VI and former prime minister Mariano Rajoy pose during a swearing-in ceremony at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid. Photograph: Emilio Naranjo - Pool/Getty Images

 

Pedro Sánchez has been sworn in as Spain’s prime minister, a day after the Socialist leader successfully ousted predecessor Mariano Rajoy, who lost a no-confidence vote in parliament.

Mr Rajoy was in attendance at the ceremony held on Saturday in the royal Zarzuela Palace and shook Mr Sánchez’s hand after the new leader was sworn in by King Felipe VI. The two then posed for a photo with the monarch along with the speakers of the lower Congress of Deputies and the senate.

In the ceremony, Mr Sánchez took an oath of loyalty to the king and to Spain’s constitution.

He did so without swearing on the Bible or a crucifix, a first for a Spanish prime minister since the restoration of democracy in the 1970s.

Mr Sánchez toppled Mr Rajoy following a court ruling in a major corruption case involving the conservative leader’s Popular Party.

Parliament voted 180-169 on Friday to replace Mr Rajoy’s government with one led by Mr Sánchez.

Spain is the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy. Mr Sánchez and his party are staunch supporters of the EU and the shared currency.

Mr Sánchez has vowed to fight corruption and help those Spaniards affected by years of public spending cuts under Mr Rajoy’s government.

He also pledged to hold an election soon, while not setting a date.

Mr Sánchez will lead a minority government and will need the support of both the left-wing Podemos party and the backing of regional parties and Catalan secessionists to get anything done in government. – AP