Spain’s parliament on Tuesday started debate on no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after corruption scandals linked to his ruling People’s Party.
The motion, filed by anti-austerity party Podemos, was not expected to win the support of the absolute majority of lawmakers needed to force out Rajoy, who won re-election last year and was leading a minority government.
Podemos, which took around a fifth of the vote in last year’s two elections, said the motion was a rally against PP’s alleged use of public coffers and institutions to defend its own interests to the detriment of the electorate.
Podemos’s parliamentary Speaker, Irene Montero, told lawmakers that “Spain is fed up with your theft, and democracy demands a change.”
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also spoke during the motion of no confidence debate in parliament in Madrid, Spain, saying “corruption has a headquarters and it is at Genova 13, referring to the address of the PP party’s base in Madrid.”
Meanwhile, dozens of PP members, including former economy minister and IMF chief Rodrigo Rato, were implicated in graft cases, which opposition parties said
it showed entrenched corruption.
Rajoy had been called to testify as witness at a trial of PP members, including former party treasurer, Luis Barcenas, following long investigation into alleged party slush fund.
However, he had not been accused of any wrongdoing.
The PP had denied that any senior party officials were involved in cases of corruption.
It said only a small proportion of its politicians were corrupt and that it was tackling the problem.
The no-confidence vote is expected to be held on Wednesday.
The vote is a direct challenge to the Socialist party, whose place in Spanish politics as the traditional left-wing opposition Podemos hopes to seize.
The Socialists enabled Rajoy’s re-election last October after 10 months of deadlock by abstaining in a parliamentary vote.