Pedro Sánchez: the former leader of the Socialist Party resigns from his post as deputy for refusing to support Rajoy | Spain

Pedro Sánchez at the Spanish Congress on Saturday.JULIÁN ROJAS

Former leader of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) Pedro Sánchez relinquished his seat in Congress on Saturday, just hours before a nomination vote that saw Mariano Rajoy re-elected as the country’s new prime minister at the head of a minority government of the People’s Party (PP).

During a brief appearance before reporters, an emotional Sánchez had to hold back tears on several occasions as he said he was not resigning from politics but would instead become “one more grassroots member”.

Sánchez has hinted he might get support for a future leadership race

Explaining his “painful” decision to cede his seat, Sánchez said he “strongly disagreed” with the decision of the party’s federal committee to allow the PP to regain power by abstaining in the critical nomination vote. of Saturday.

“I will not go against my party or against my election promises,” said Sánchez, referring to the difficult choice offered to him by the federal committee who has controlled the party since Sánchez was kicked out of the highest post.

The young Sánchez resigned from his post as leader of the Socialist Party in early October after a noisy rebellion of members of its executive committee forced Spain’s 10-month political stalemate.

Sánchez has repeatedly claimed that allowing Rajoy to become prime minister by abstaining in a nomination vote goes against the principles of the PSOE and the wishes of millions of voters.

The PP was the most voted party in an inconclusive general election held in December 2015, and in a new ballot in June this year. But despite winning most of the seats in Congress, the PP could not find the support needed for interim Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to be re-elected.

Much of this was due to Sánchez’s refusal to abstain in the second round of a nomination vote, which prompted growing calls within the PSOE for a deal to be reached to prevent Spain from falling. be faced with an unprecedented third general election.

Corn Sanchez hinted he wouldn’t be leaving the spotlight just yet.

I will not go against my party or against my election promises Pedro Sánchez

“On Monday, I will get in my car and travel all over Spain to listen to those who weren’t heard, grassroots members and left-wing voters,” Sánchez said, suggesting he could mobilize a support for a future present himself to the leadership of the besieged party at the next PSOE conference.

The party has yet to set a date for this conference, but it is expected to take place for at least six months.

In a final blow to the federal PSOE committee on Saturday, Sánchez demanded that the 15 Socialist deputies who broke ranks to vote “no” to a government led by Rajoy not be expelled. He also said the party should not separate from the Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSC) following its decision to reject the committee’s decision to abstain in the nomination vote.

english version by George mills.

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