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Spanish opposition leader ousts PM Mariano Rajoy

The ruling conservative party leader has been removed following a no-confidence vote.

Spanish opposition leader Pedro Sanchez has won a vote to replace Mariano Rajoy as prime minister, in the first removal of a serving leader by the parliament in Madrid in four decades of democracy.

Socialist leader Mr Sanchez won the no-confidence poll with 180 votes, a slim majority in the 350-seat lower house. There were 169 no votes, and one MP abstained.

Mr Rajoy, one of Europe’s longest-serving heads of government, lost the vote following corruption convictions last week involving former members of his conservative Popular Party.

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Mr Rajoy is one of Europe’s longest-serving premiers (AP)

The 46-year-old Mr Sanchez is now the prime minister-in-waiting. Spain’s King Felipe VI still has to swear him in.

Following the vote, Mr Rajoy crossed the chamber to shake Mr Sanchez’s hand.

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