Madrid, Spain.- Prime Minister-elect Pedro Sanchez vowed Friday to root out the corruption that helped bring down Spain’s outgoing conservative government and pledged to help people affected by years of public spending cuts under his predecessor, Mariano Rajoy.
Minutes after narrowly winning a no-confidence vote in parliament, the Socialist party leader signaled a change in tone and priorities from Rajoy’s unbending commitment to reducing the national debt during his more than six years as prime minister.
Sanchez, the 46-year-old head of what has been Spain’s main opposition party, has never held a government post.
He said he would address what he called the “social emergencies” of Spaniards after years of government austerity.
“I’m aware of the responsibility and the complex political moment of our country,” Sanchez said in brief comments to reporters after the 180-169 vote in the Congress of Deputies, Spain’s parliament. One lawmaker abstained. Sanchez will be sworn in Saturday at 11 a.m. by King Felipe VI at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid and will appoint his Cabinet over the coming days.
His triumph was a dramatic return to the spotlight after being fired as party leader less than two years ago.