Scramble for Zapatero's empty chair

Published on 4 April 2011 at 10:47


“The Three Presidents,” headlines the La Razón newspaper after the meeting of the federal committee of the Socialist Party (PSOE) on April 2 in Madrid, where the head of government, José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero, announced he would step down as head of PSOE and resign from government following the general elections of 2012. Two figures loom as possible successors: the Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba and Defense Minister Carme Chacón. “Just one day after the announcement by their leader, candidates are competing for the empty chair with authentic election fever” writes the conservative daily, for whom “the farewells of Zapatero failed to halt the plunge in the polls [for the Socialists], which are taking on dramatic proportions.” According to those polls, if the election were held today the Socialists would drop to 124 seats (of 350), while the Popular Party (on the right) would win 187.

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