The Latest: Spain's Socialists reinstate ousted leader

AP News
Posted: May 21, 2017 4:57 PM
The Latest: Spain's Socialists reinstate ousted leader

MADRID (AP) — The Latest on political factors affecting the government of Spain (all times local):

10:50 p.m.

Spain's Socialists have voted to put Pedro Sanchez back in charge as their general secretary seven months after party heavyweights ousted him from power.

Party spokesman Mario Jimenez said that Sanchez "was the clear winner" of Sunday's election by members of the Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol (PSOE.)

With over 90 percent of the votes counted, Sanchez had won 49 percent of the votes. Main rival Susana Diaz received 40 percent, while Patxi Lopez had 10 percent.

Sanchez's return to the leadership of the second-largest party in Spain's Parliament means that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will likely have a tougher time keeping his minority government afloat.

Sanchez will also be at odds with most of PSOE's regional leaders, who forced him to resign as general secretary in October after disagreeing with his opposition to Rajoy forming a government.


7:20 p.m.

Spain's Socialists are voting for a new general secretary, a decision that could affect the stability of the minority government of conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Nearly 190,000 members of the Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol (PSOE) were eligible to choose between former general secretary Pedro Sanchez, Andalusian regional president Susana Diaz or former Basque Country president Patxi Lopez.

Polls indicate Sanchez and Diaz are favored to win over Lopez.

The party says that by 2 p.m. turnout stood at 51 percent, 19 percent higher than during its last leadership election in 2014.

Sanchez is seeking to return to power since being ousted in October amid internal disagreements over whether to allow Rajoy to continue governing or to force Spain's third election in a year.