Mariano Rajoy, leader of the conservative Popular Party (PP), was sworn in Saturday as prime minister with 170 votes in favor, 111 against and 68 abstentions.
This inauguration was in second vote, by simple majority, thanks to the abstention of the traditional political rival of the PP, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), which argued that its decision was due to the desire to avoid a third election.
Although the socialist bloc had agreed to abstain to allow the government of Rajoy, a group of 15 deputies voted against the group, breaking party discipline.
Some of the Socialists who abstained, used the formula “for imperative abstain” vote.
Earlier, Pedro Sanchez, former secretary general and former presidential candidate of the PSOE, had resigned his seat as deputy . Sanchez was one of the main promoters of the “no” to the government of Rajoy.
The investiture ceremony came amid street protests against what demonstrators as “a blow to democracy”.
Rajoy has governed Spain since 2011, but has been acting president for just over 10 months since the elections on 20 December 2015.
In these elections, the PP was the winner with 123 seats, but far from the 176 needed to govern with an absolute majority.
Given the difficulty of finding support in other parties try to form government Rajoy refused and was Sánchez, of the PSOE -the second place with 90 escaños-, who sought the investiture hand centrist Citizens (40 seats), without success.
This situation forced to call new elections for June 26, 2016, with the PP again as the winner, this time with 137 seats, 14 more than the first elections.
In this election the Socialists came out with fewer seats, 85, for 71 of the third force, the pop can, and 32 of Citizens.
The PP reached an agreement Citizens and a minor party, Canary Coalition (a deputy), but the sum of its seats (170) remained inadequate.
Rajoy proposed that the PSOE joined the PP in a “grand coalition”, but this option was rejected by Sanchez with a firm “is not no”, while exploring the possibility of seeking the investiture relying on other parties, as we can and Citizens or other pro-independence groups.
Then, several members of the PSOE, including ex-President Felipe González, began to push for the government to give Rajoy, before the possibility of a third elections, which also would fall holiday season.
On October 1, Sánchez resigned as general secretary of the PSOE, amid a severe internal crisis in the party. Three weeks later, on 24, the Socialists, meeting federal committee approved allowing the investiture of Rajoy by abstaining in Congress, which finally took place on Saturday.