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PSOE to elect new party leader

Sat 26th Nov 2011

Following their worst performance in a general election since Spain's return to democracy, the PSOE itoday proposed arrangements for replacing outgoing Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as the Party's secretary general at a congress due to take place in February.

The Socialist Party sources yesterday announced the selection formula chosen will be similar to that of the congress held in July 2000, whereby Zapatero was victorious over 3 other candidates to emerge as the party leader.

The congress will also discus the policy t be adopted by the PSOE as the main opposition in party in parliament after its resounding defeat at the hands of the Popular Party, which won an absolute majority in last weekend's general election. The Socialists tally of just 110 seats in parliament was its lowest taken since the return to democracy in 1978.

The outgoing PM, Jose luis Rodriguez Zapatero, did not stand as a candidate in the elections, with the party led by the former interior minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.

Party leadership regulations race allow members who secure a 15% support from the PSOE's federal committee to present themselves as "pre-candidates" for secretary general.

Meanwhile, PSOE deputy secretary general, José Blanco, announced yesterday that he would step back from the forefront of party politics "to open room for other people."

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