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‘I’m stepping aside, but I’m not leaving:’ Rajoy bids farewell to the People’s Party

The former Spanish president praised Article 155 in his speech but avoided naming a successor

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20 July 2018 09:45 PM

by

ACN | Madrid

Mariano Rajoy, former Spanish president, and former leader of the People’s Party (PP), gave his last speech as head of the party on July 20. In it, he avoided indicating his preference for successor to preside over the group, and spoke highly of the measures he and his government implemented to respond to Catalonia’s push for independence.

Rajoy also emphasized that while he’s stepping down from his position, he will stay present. “I’m stepping aside, but I’m not leaving, and, especially, I’ll stay loyal,” he affirmed, a statement greeted by applause. 

  • “I’m stepping aside, but I’m not leaving, and, especially, I’ll stay loyal,”

    Mariano Rajoy · former PP leader

The former Spanish president also took the occasion to praise his and his government’s response to Catalonia’s push for independence, in particular Article 155, the Spanish constitutional measure that stripped Catalonia of its self-rule following a declaration of independence.  

Rajoy stepped down after being ousted from head of Spain by a motion of no-confidence, and was replaced by Socialist Pedro Sànchez.  The former president attributed the fall of his government to a “confabulation of losers and independence supporters” who came in through the “back door” in the Spanish government.

In stepping down from the PP, Rajoy also urged his successor, whoever they may be, to be “responsible” and that they be prepared to always give the “adequate answer.” However, the former Spanish leader did not allude to who he prefers to follow in his footsteps. This will however be announced on July 21, between former Spanish vice president Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría and PP politician Pablo Casado

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  • Mariano Rajoy speaks at a PP congress on July 20 2018 (by Roger Pi de Cabanyes)

  • Mariano Rajoy speaks at a PP congress on July 20 2018 (by Roger Pi de Cabanyes)