Mariano Rajoy resigns Popular Party leadership

Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s former premier whose government was toppled last week in a no-confidence vote, announced that he was also quitting his party’s helm.

“The Popular Party should continue advancing and constructing its history of service to the Spanish people under the leadership of another person,” he announced in a press conference on Tuesday.

Rajoy has been the head of Spain’s right-wing Popular Party since 2004. His resignation from the post comes days after he became the first Spanish leader in modern history to be ousted in a parliamentary vote.

As prime minister from 2011, Rajoy led Spain out of a deep financial crisis, but was also embattled by corruption charges that brought down several high-ranking members of his party.

“I’m doing it [resigning] for two reasons: it’s the best for me, and for the Popular Party. In other words, it’s the best for the Popular Party and for me, and I also believe, for Spain,” he explained in his characteristically diffuse style.

Rajoy will remain leader of his party until a new candidate is chosen.

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