Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba — the current Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Prime Minister — resigned from his office today after declaring his intention of succeeding the unpopular Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as Prime Minister in the coming elections.The PSOE is expected to get trounced in the upcoming elections after taking a beating in the local elections in May.
The centre-right opposition party, PP, has long been calling for Rubalcaba’s resignation, as his candidacy was not unexpected. Unless challenged by another PSOE politician, Rubalcaba will face off against the PP’s Mariano Rajoy.
The current government must organise new elections by the time its four-year term expires in March, however difficulty passing a 2012 budget — in particular, anger over the PSOE’s austerity plan — means elections are likely to happen sometime this fall.
Partisan jousting ahead of the elections has already begun in force. Former PP president Jose Maria Aznar publicly bashed the PSOE last week for causing a “socialist bubble” resulting in Spain’s sovereign debt crisis. On the other hand, austerity measures adopted by the PSOE in the last two years have probably helped stave off a deeper crisis.
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