MADRID, June 27, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Mariano Rajoy (2nd L), Spanish acting prime minister and leader of the People's Party, speaks at party's headquarters in Madrid, capital of Spain, June 26, 2016. The People's Party won the most votes in the general election on Sunday, but failed to get the majority. (Xinhua/Belen Diaz)
MADRID, June 27 (Xinhua) -- People's Party leader, Mariano Rajoy was triumphant after his party were proclaimed the winners of the Spanish general election on Sunday.
The right win PP overcame corruption and political scandals to claim 33 percent of the votes (around 635,000 more than in December 2015) to win 137 seats in the Spanish Congress, 14 more than in the last election and well above the predictions in pre-election opinion polls.
"I have been a member of this party for all my life. I started when I was 22 years ago and like so many people in the PP we have fought many battle, we have won some and lost others, but I feel very proud of this party that in difficult moments...this has been a difficult period, but we have had courage and determination," said Rajoy.
"We have won the elections because you had faith in victory and you have worked for it," he said, before thanking party workers and his wife for their support.
Although it was a good day for the PP, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) lost 5 seats while winning 5,276,528 votes (22.7 percent of the total). PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez nevertheless celebrated that his party was still the second political force in Spain.
He admitted that PP had "won the elections," and said he had congratulated Rajoy on his victory, but Sanchez said the PSOE had "reaffirmed" its position as Spain's second party.
He blamed Podemos leader, Pablo Iglesias for the PP victory and said Iglesias should "reflect" on the result, saying that Podemos' refusal to support the PSOE in the investiture debate in March was responsible for "strengthening the PP's position at this election."
Sanchez said the PSOE was the "only party of progress and reform in Spain. The people know that and today they defended us," he commented.
Pablo Iglesias, whose left wing party won 71 seats, expressed his disappointment at the results after opinion polls had predicted Unidos Podmos would become the second party in Spain, but he chose a more conciliatory tone than Sanchez, who he said he had tried but failed to talk to discuss a post-electoral pact.
"They are not satisfactory results for us, we had different expectations," admitted Iglesias, who added he was "worried by the loss off support for the progressive block. It is a time for dialogue between progressive parties," he said, admitting the "results have surprised us and everyone."
Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera saw his party's representation fall from 40 to 32 seats but insisted he would support a grand alliance of PP, PSOE and Ciudadanos: "if they are willing from tomorrow to form a government, we will be there," he said.
"We will have a legislature of agreement and change," insisted Rivera.