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Socialist Zapatero Bows out on Re-Election Bid Print E-mail
by Tom McGregor    Sat, Apr 2, 2011, 06:28 PM

Bid Zapatero.jpgPrime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero of Spain, also known as the Hugo Chavez of the European Union and an ardent supporter of gay marriage and gay Catholic priests, is plunging in popularity polls as he contends with an economic crisis that may eventually lead to an IMF bailout for his nation. He announced on Saturday that he would not seek a third term in 2012 elections.

According to the Singapore Straits-Times, “Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, 59, one of the most powerful figures in the government, is the most likely candidate to succeed Mr. Zapatero as Socialist Party leader, according to analysts.”

Yet, Defense Minister Carme Chacon, 40, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the party, also garnered strong support. In a televised speech to the party’s federal assembly in Madrid, Zapatero said, “I will not be a candidate in the next general elections.”

As reported by the Singapore Straits-Times, “he called on the party to hold an internal primary to elect a new person to lead the party in the general elections scheduled for March 2012. Mr. Zapatero said that process should begin after regional and municipal elections on May 22, polls in which the Socialist Party (PSOE) is expected to suffer heavy losses.”

His message followed months of media speculation that the 50-year-old leader would not seek a third term in office. He claimed that when he was first elected in 2004 he had already pledged to remain head of government for just two terms.

To read the entire article from the Singapore Straits-Times, link here:

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