Rajoy Brey, Mariano

Rajoy Brey, Mariano märēä´nō rähoi´ brā [key], 1955–, Spanish political leader, b. Santiago de Compostela. The son of a prominent Galician lawyer, he received (1978) a law degree from the Univ. of Santiago de Compostela. A member of what became the conservative Popular party (PP), he was elected a regional deputy at age 26. Elected to the Cortes in 1993, Rajoy served successively as minister of public administration, education and culture, and the interior under Prime Minister Jose María Aznar (1996–2004) and was chosen by Aznar as his successor. The PP lost the elections of 2004 and 2008, but in 2011 voters ousted the ruling Socialists, blaming them for Spain's economic woes, and Rajoy became prime minister with a sweeping parliamentary majority. Continuing economic woes led to significant PP losses in elections in 2015 and 2016, and Rajoy was unable to form a minority government until the Socialists acquiesced in Oct., 2016. After the PP was fined in 2018 following a corruption trial, he lost a confidence vote and was succeeded as prime minister by Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez; Rajoy subsequently resigned as party leader.

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