Spain lawmakers approve King's abdication by a wide margin
Published on Jun 11, 2014 7:02 PM
MADRID (AFP) - Spanish lawmakers approved on Wednesday the abdication of King Juan Carlos by a wide margin, paving the way for his son Felipe to take the scandal-hit throne.
A law allowing the abdication was approved with 299 votes in favour, 19 against and 23 abstentions following a debate in which tiny left-wing and regional parties called for a referendum on the future of the monarchy.
The result came during a historic session to approve the King's abdication despite noisy anti-royalist protests, paving the way for the first succession in post-Franco Spain. Nine days after King Juan Carlos, 76, called an end to a 39-year reign that guided Spain from dictatorship to democracy, Parliament prepared for the future King Felipe VI to inherit the scandal-tainted crown.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy opened the debate by defending the king and the monarchy, which he called "the best symbol of the unity of the state". "Spain is a parliamentary monarchy with deep roots because Spaniards want it to be so," he added.
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