The leader of Spain’s opposition PSOE Socialist party, Pedro Sanchez, resigned amidst dramatic scenes last Saturday, in a move that could end months of political deadlock. Mr Sanchez stood down after losing a vote by the party’s federal committee over supporting the formation of a conservative-led governing coalition – a move he had strongly opposed. The lead up to his resignation saw almost half of the party’s executive resign.
Spain has been in a political limbo for the past nine months, after the results of a general election in December 2015 left a hung parliament. The majority Partido Popular under acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has sought to form a coalition government but Mr Sanchez repeatedly blocked their attempts.
In an attempt to break the stalemate, a second election was held in June but, again, no party won an absolute majority. The PSOE has long been divided between supporters of Mr Sanchez and those who want to end the stalemate by supporting a coalition. Many delegates at Saturday’s federal committee meeting at party headquarters in Madrid had turned up hoping to force Mr Sanchez out, and they got their wish.