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Mariano Rajoy faces defeat in Friday no-confidence vote

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Spain Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is likely to be forced out of office after a key party said it would support a motion of no confidence against him, Spanish media report. The no-confidence vote is scheduled to take place on Friday and was tabled by the opposition Socialist party. Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez needs a majority of 176 votes to become leader. The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) says it will support the motion, which may then propel Mr Sánchez into office.

The party holds a crucial five seats in parliament and has already informed both leaders of its intentions, according to Basque newspaper El Correo. Mr Sánchez tabled the motion of no confidence after Mr Rajoy’s centre-right People’s Party (PP) was implicated in a huge corruption scandal. He said Mr Rajoy had failed to take responsibility for his party’s involvement, which came to light last week after one of its former treasurers was given a 33-year jail sentence.

The High Court in Madrid convicted Luis Barcenas of receiving bribes, money laundering and tax crimes. The case centred on a secret campaign fund the PP ran from 1999 until 2005.

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