Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to be ousted by arch-rival Socialist Pedro ...

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has admitted defeat ahead of a vote of no-confidence on Friday, paving the way for his arch-rival Pedro Sanchez to take power.  

Mr Rajoy said it had been 'an honour' to serve the country and admitted that 'the no-confidence motion is likely to go through' in a speech to Parliament on Friday morning. 

Mr Sanchez, leader of the Socialist opposition, called the vote after Rajoy's conservative party was caught taking kickbacks in return for awarding public contracts. 

The decision will make Rajoy the first Spanish premier to lose a no-confidence vote since the country transitioned to democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. 

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy arrives for a debate on a no-confidence motion at the Lower House of the Spanish Parliament on Friday

Spanish Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez called the vote amid a corruption scandal engulfing Rajoy's party, and reportedly secured enough votes to win on Thursday

Spanish Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez called the vote amid a corruption scandal engulfing Rajoy's party, and reportedly secured enough votes to win on Thursday

'Your isolation, Mr. Rajoy, is the epitaph of a political period, yours, which is over,' Sanchez, a 46-year-old former economics professor, told parliament on Thursday.

Sanchez will now immediately become Prime Minister in his place under a Spanish law that prevents a power vacuum.

He has pledged to call fresh elections within months.    

With news of the vote, Spain looks set to become the second southern European nation to fall victim to a political crisis amid 's repeated failures to form a government.

Sanchez demanded Rajoy step down last week, arguing he had lost credibility after

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