New Prime Minister pledges progressive and modern government
Spain’s new Prime Minister is Socialist Pedro Sánchez, seventh head of the government of the current democratic period.
He has already been sworn in as the country’s new leader by King Felipe after the ousting of Conservative Mariano Rajoy.
Sr. Sánchez, who is an atheist, took the oath to protect the constitution without a bible or crucifix, a first in Spain’s modern history.
He plans to see out the remaining two years of the parliamentary term.
The Socialist leader won the support of six other parties to remove Sr. Rajoy over a massive corruption scandal.
In a brief ceremony at the Royal residence in Madrid, Sr. Sánchez, 46, promised to “faithfully fulfil” his duties “with conscience and honour, with loyalty to the king, and to guard and have guarded the constitution as a fundamental state rule”.
Sr. Rajoy is the first prime minister in modern Spanish history to be defeated in a no-confidence motion.
Pedro Sánchez is a photogenic economist and former basketball player.
Although Mr Sánchez leads the Socialist PSOE party, he is not a member of parliament. Correspondents say that with only 84 lower house seats, the party will struggle to find allies to get legislation enacted.
In one of his most recent addresses, he said: “The new Government of Spain is the reflection of the best of the society to which it aspires to serve. A partnership, open, committed and intergenerational. A progressive, modernising and pro-European government prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century.”