Leader of Spanish right votes, says ready to serve

20th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

The runaway favourite to become Spain's next prime minister, conservative leader Mariano Rajoy, voted in general elections Sunday and said he was ready to serve Spaniards.

"I am ready for what the Spaniards want," said the 56-year-old leader of the opposition Popular Party, accompanied by his wife, as he cast a ballot in Madrid.

Rajoy's party is tipped to thrash the ruling Socialists as voters seek to escape an economic crisis that has left nearly five million people without work and led to a 21.5-percent jobless rate.

The Socialists' standard bearer, 60-year-old Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, warned that Spain was at a crossroads.

"The next four years wil be very important for our future and in these circumstances it is very important to vote," Rubalcaba said, also voting in Madrid with his wife.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, 51, decided not to run in the elections after two terms and nearly eight years in power.

"More than ever, the future is in the hands of the citizens," Zapatero said as he voted in the capital.

© 2011 AFP

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