Rajoy sworn in as Spanish PM, most Catalan and Basque MPs reject his candidacy

Author: Sergi Castañé (Twitter @sergicastanye)
Mariano Rajoy has been sworn in as Spain's Prime Minister for a second consecutive term after a 316-day long deadlock and two elections. Rajoy, 61, will be leading a minority government made up only of Spanish conservative PP members. He faces tough rejection from both Catalonia and the Basque Country, with most members of Spanish Parliament from those two nations opposing his candidacy.

Rajoy's candidacy was Saturday supported by his Popular Party (137 seats), plus liberal, centre-right Citizens' Party (C's, 32 seats) and Canarian Coalition (CC, 1 seat).

The deadlock was broken thanks to the abstention from most -but not all- of Socialist MPs, after former PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez -who staunchly opposed Rajoy's candidacy- was removed from office by the party's federal committee.

The new PSOE leadership said it was opposed both to an abstention and a third election. In view of this, the Socialists chose to abstain  -"the lesser evil", in the words of interim Socialist Party leader Javier Fernández- and let Rajoy be sworn in.

Out of 84 PSOE MPs, 69 abstained, while another 15 chose not submit to party discipline and thus voted against Rajoy.

Those 15 include all 7 Catalan Socialist MPs.

Rajoy's candidacy was also rejected by Catalan pro-independence parties ERC (9 seats) and PDECAT (former CDC, 8 seats), and by Podemos-IU's allies in Catalonia, En Comú Podem (12 seats).

This means 77% of Catalan MPs rejected Rajoy being sworn is as Spanish PM.

Catalan political data analyst Sergi Castañé compiled all shares of rejection to Rajoy from MPs broken down by autonomous community:

Most Catalan parties are calling since years for a referendum on Catalan independence. But PP, PSOE and C's all three reject it.

Similar rejection among Basque MPs

The figures are similar among MPs from Euskadi: 78% of them voted against Rajoy -including the two main Basque sovereignist parties (Basque Nationalist Party and EH Bildu)- with a further 40% from Navarre also rejecting the PP's candidate.

Among MPs from the Balearic Islands, Rajoy's candidacy was rejected by 50% of them (Podemos-IU and PSOE).