Mariano Rajoy – Prime Minister of Spain
Mariano Rajoy Brey is the current Prime Minister of Spain and President of the ruling Partido Popular (PP) centre-right party.
After the General Election of 20th November 2011 Rajoy became the sixth post-democracy Prime Minister, and assumed office on 21st December 2011.
Rajoy was born in Santiago de Compostela on 27th March 1955. His political life began when he was elected as a deputy for Alianza Popular (the predecessor of the modern-day Partido Popular) in the first regional elections for the autonomous community of Galicia on 20th October 1981.
Throughout the 1980s Rajoy held several briefs in the Galician regional government (the Junta de Galicia). Although elected to the national Congress of Deputies in the 1986 General Election, he soon returned to Galicia to serve as Vice President of the Junta de Galicia.
After the birth of the Partido Popular in 1989 Rajoy returned to national level politics as the representative for Pontevedra and was appointed to the PP´s National Executive Committee. One year later, after the election of José María Aznar as President of the PP, he was named Deputy Secretary General.
Rajoy was re-elected as the deputy for Pontevedra in 1993 and again at the General Election of 1996, when Aznar became the Prime Minister of Spain. From 1996-99 Rajoy served as Minister for Public Administration, and from 1999-2000 he served as Minister of Education and Culture.
After coordinating the campaign for the PP’s landslide victory in the 2000 General Election, Rajoy was promoted to First Vice President of the Government by Aznar as well as Minister of the Presidency. In 2001 he became Minister of the Interior before returning to his role as Minister of the Presidency and Government Spokesman in 2002.
When Prime Minister Aznar decided to retire from political office in 2003 he proposed Rajoy as his successor to lead the PP, and he was subsequently elected at the party’s National Congress.
In the 2004 General Election the socialist PSOE, led by José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero, swept to power defeating the PP and Rajoy. Rajoy continued as President of the PP but was yet again defeated by Zapatero at the 2008 General Election. Following his second defeat there were attempts by some in the party to install a new leader, but Rajoy stood for relection once more, and his position was reaffirmed once again by the party’s National Congress.
At the General Election in November 2011 Rajoy finally succeeded in defeating the PSOE and their candidate Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, leading the PP to a landslide victory and an absolute majority. He was sworn in as Prime Minister on 20th December 2011 by the King of Spain and he took office the next day.