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AS IT HAPPENED: Pedro Sanchez is Spain's new PM

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AS IT HAPPENED: Pedro Sanchez is Spain's new PM
Photo: AFP
11:05 CEST+02:00
The no-confidence vote got underway at 11.01 in Spain's Congress.

12:00 So long Mariano!

Rajoy has become the first prime minister to be ousted by such a vote since Spain transitioned to democracy in 1977.

The bespectacled 63-year-old leader got up and shook hands with Sanchez before leaving the lower house without a word.

11: 50 The Socialist Party tweets: "We will work with responsibility to recover the dignity that our country deserves"

11:44: Congratulations Sñr Sanchez.

Sanchez was given a standing ovation as a chorus of "Si, se puede"  - Yes, We Can!" resounded round the chamber.

 

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias was among the first to congratulate the new PM giving him a hug.

 

 

11:31: The ayes have it

180 deputies have voted 'si' to the motion of no-confidence. Meaning that Pedro Sanchez has won the vote. 

There were 169 'no' votes and one abstention.

 

11:25 So much can happen in a week.

Barring any last minute surprises, Pedro Sanchez is about to become the new prime minister. Not bad for a leader who has been trailing in the polls. 

This is the man who led the PSOE through two failed elections, including one in which the Socialists secured the worst result since Spain's transition to democracy.

He was ousted by the party as a result but made a spectacular comeback last year.

Now he's poised to become Spain's new prime minister.

READ MORE: PROFILE Pedro Sanchez: the triumph of obstinacy


Sanchez on the campaign trail in 2016. Photo: AFP

 

11:16 A total of 350 MPs have to vote and we are about half way through.

In the meantime, it has emerged that after the morning session in Parliament yesterday Rajoy went for lunch in an fish restaurant not far from the Congress.

He was likely there when the news arrived that he had been dreading. The PNV had decided to throw its support behind Pedro Sanchez's no-confidence vote.

Rajoy didn't return for the afternoon session and reports this morning suggest he spent a total of eight hours in the restaurant, consuming two bottles of whiskey - he wasn't alone but with a group.

A grainy photo has emerged of him hugging the chef before emerging from the restaurant to be greeted by a crowd of journalists.

Video shows him being steered to his official car.

 

11.01: The no-confidence vote got underway at 11.01 in Spain's Congress with the names of individual MPs read out to which they answer yes or no.

He's known as the great survivor: Calmly biding his time as his rivals fret around him, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has bounced back from every political crisis he's faced... until now.

PROFILE Mariano Rajoy: Spain's great survivor... until now

10:55 The vote is about to start but Rajoy has already admitted defeat.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy admitted defeat ahead of a no-confidence vote Friday saying it had been "an honour" to serve the country." The no-confidence motion is likely to go through, which means Mr. Pedro Sanchez will be the new prime minister," he told parliament.   

The Socialist party leader, Rajoy's arch-rival who called for the vote, is poised to take over as prime minister.


Rajoy was given a standing ovation by his party MPs. Photo: AFP

 

 

 

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