Lawyer Casado replaces ousted PM Rajoy as leader of Spain’s Popular Party

Spain’s conservative Popular Party (PP), which was cast into opposition after six years in power, has chosen 37-year-old lawyer, Pablo Casado, as its new leader. Its previous chairman, Mariano Rajoy, announced that he would no longer lead the party shortly after losing the position of Spanish prime minister in a vote of no-confidence in June. Casado beat former deputy PM, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, by 1,701 votes to 1,250 for the position during the PP congress in Madrid on Saturday. By opting for the young politician as its new leader, the Popular Party is trying to rebuild itself after the final years of Rajoy as prime minister were marred by a corruption scandal and a harsh response to the sovereignty crisis in Catalonia. “We must return to the center of Spanish society to make sure our work is not undone,” Casado said in his victory speech. The party’s new leader was chief of staff to then-prime minister Jose Maria Aznar from 2009 to 2012.