7 April 2004
MADRID – King Juan Carlos formally proposed Socialist leader José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as the next prime minister of Spain Wednesday.
In keeping with parliamentary protocol, the King sent this proposal to Manuel Marín, the head of the country’s upper house, or Congress, after finishing formal consultations with all party leaders.
Zapatero then held an tour-long meeting with the leader of the opposition, Mariano Rajoy, head of the ousted conservative Popular Party (PP).
Rajoy voted against Zapatero as the next prime minister.
But he later told journalists his opposition would be “loyal, constructive and demanding”.
Zapatero, breaking with tradition, did not give a press conference after his meeting with the leader of the opposition.
Apart from the PP, no other parties will vote against the investiture of Zapatero as prime minister.
The Socialist leader is then to have another meeting with the King on 17 April. The day afterwards he will formally give the names of his cabinet to the monarch.
Spain’s new premier will then take power on 19 April.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news