Madrid: The embattled head of the Spanish Socialists Pedro Sanchez resigned Saturday after losing a vote among top party members summoned for a showdown, an advisor and an opponent said.
Sanchez`s opponents within the Socialist Party (PSOE) want to see the opposition party lift its veto on a new government led by acting conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which could be key to unblocking Spain`s nine-month political paralysis.
The announcement came after 17 of Sanchez`s 35-strong executive quit together on Wednesday in a bid to force the 44-year-old party leader out.
His detractors want the party to use the 85 parliamentary seats it won in June polls to help unblock the national deadlock and allow Rajoy to lead a right-wing government by abstaining in a vote of confidence, rather than voting against as it did earlier this month.
Supporters of Sanchez however believe it would have been preferable to stop Rajoy from ruling again, even if it meant prolonging the deadlock.
Since December 2015, the country has been without a fully-functioning executive as rivals fail to agree on a government following two elections in which none of the main parties won an absolute majority.
"Those in the PSOE who want to give the government to the (conservative) PP have won," upstart leftist party Podemos chief Pablo Iglesias tweeted.