Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Leader Of Spain's Socialists Resigns After Losing Party Vote

Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez resigned Saturday at his party's headquarters in Madrid.
Javier Soriano
AFP/Getty Images
Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez resigned Saturday at his party's headquarters in Madrid.

In a development that could give Spain sorely needed momentum on its path to forming a new government, Pedro Sanchez resigned as the leader of the main opposition Socialist Party. Sanchez had promised to step down if the party voted to end his ban on enabling a coalition conservative-led government.

The tally in Saturday's vote was 133-109; according to El Mundo, the vote was held by a show of hands, after critics dismissed the use of a ballot box as an attempt to rig the vote.

Hours of debate and procedural maneuvering preceded Saturday's vote, which also came days after roughly half of the Socialists' executive committee resigned to protest Sanchez's insistence on not working with the conservative Popular Party, the party of interim Prime Minister Mariano Roy.

The conservatives came out on top in two national elections — one last December and another in June — but by a margin that requires it to form a coalition government. With the Socialist Party withholding their 85 parliamentary seats, that proved impossible.

Spain's parliament now has until the end of October to form a new government led by the Popular Party. If that fails, Spanish voters will be confronted with their third national election in a year. A general vote will be planned for December of this year if a coalition doesn't take root.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.