Monday, 31 October 2016

King Felipe VI and his Prime Minister

King Felipe VI of Spain watches Mariano Rajoy become Prime Minister again
(photo casareal Twitter)

After ten long months of wrangling and two elections, the King of Spain has watched as his country's Prime Minister took his oath. Mariano Rajoy took the pledge at the Zarzuela Palace, ending almost a year of political stalemate with Felipe VI watching on.

Rajoy was named as Spanish Prime Minister following months of negotiations. A vote in Spain's parliament on October 30th led to his Partido Popular being allowed to rule in a minority government after the opposition PSOE abstained.

This is Rajoy's second term as Prime Minister - the PP won elections in 2011 with a landslide but lost their majority in the general election of December 2015. On October 31st, Mariano Rajoy headed to the Zarzuela to swear his oath in front of King Felipe.

Felipe VI watched as Rajoy made his oath - he was joined by leading politicians for the low key event. It took just minutes - a swift end to a long political stalemate. This royal final act brings down the curtain on a year of political instability which at times led to a truncated agenda for Felipe and his family as the King of Spain focused on chairing talks between parties. That part of 2016 is over but the rest of the year will include other difficulties for both men who starred in the swearing in ceremony. Rajoy now has to govern with a minority administration while King Felipe faces the end of the trial involving his sister, the Infanta Cristina, and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, within weeks.

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