Rajoy elected as new prime minister of Spain
Updated: 2011-11-21 09:35
Spain's opposition centre-right People's Party (Partido Popular) leader Mariano Rajoy talks to reporters after casting his vote during a general election in Madrid November 20, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
MADRID - Mariano Rajoy has been elected as the next prime minister of Spain with a landslide victory in the general election on Sunday.
Rajoy's center-right Popular Party pocketed over 10,300,000 votes to win 186 seats after nearly 98 percent of the votes were counted.
The PP polled 44.5 percent of the votes, enough to win an overall majority and govern Spain without the need to pact with any other parties.
The Socialist (PSOE) Party, who were led by Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba in the campaign, are the major losers from these elections. The PSOE polled 28.6 percent of the vote and have won just 110 seats in Congress compared with the 169 they won in March 2008, when they got 43.9 percent of the vote.
The PSOE have paid for the effects of the economic crisis which has left almost five million Spaniards out of work and the country struggling to reduce its state deficit.
Following the worst ever defeat for the PSOE since the return of democracy to Spain after 1975, Rubalcaba will now have to seriously consider his position as party leader and could make way for former Defense Secretary Carne Chacon.
In the wake of the heavy defeat for the PSOE, other parties have benefited: the United Left (Izquierda Unida) polled just under 7 percent of the vote and will have 11 deputies in the new Congress.