Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was toppled by a corruption scandal Friday, becoming the first leader in Spain’s modern democracy to lose a vote of no-confidence in Parliament.
Rajoy’s demise paves the way for Pedro Sanchez, the leader of the main opposition Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), to become Prime Minister.
Rajoy’s fall follows years of corruption allegations against his Popular Party. The scandal culminated last week in a court convicting his former aides of running slush funds to help finance Popular Party election campaigns.
Rajoy’s fate was sealed after the Socialists secured support for the no confidence motion Thursday from a number of smaller parties in Parliament, including the Basque Nationalist Party.
In total, 180 of the chamber’s 350 lawmakers voted in support of the motion, a clear majority. There were 169 votes against and one abstention. It was the first time in Spain’s post-1977 democracy that a Spanish Prime Minister has fallen in this way.