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Spain lawmakers approve King's abdication by a wide margin

Published on Jun 11, 2014 7:02 PM
 
Socialist Party (PSOE) member Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba sits in Spain's lower house of parliament on June 11, 2014, during a session to vote on the bill allowing the abdication of King Juan Carlos with the senate following suite on June 17. 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. -- PHOTO: AFP

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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