Pedro Sánchez was sworn in on Saturday as Spain’s new prime minister, capping a remarkable personal comeback and a week of political upheaval that culminated in the first removal of an incumbent leader by Parliament in modern Spanish history.
Little more than a year ago, Mr. Sánchez, 46, seemed lost in the political wilderness, deposed as the leader of Spain’s Socialist party after twice leading it to record electoral defeats. He even resigned from Parliament. And the man he has replaced as prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, 63, was until now the great survivor of Spanish politics, one of Europe’s longest-serving heads of government.
But Mr. Sánchez was unexpectedly re-elected as Socialist leader seven months after his ousting. Then, when Mr. Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party was tarnished by a major corruption scandal — a court last week found the party guilty of operating a slush fund — he pounced, assembling a parliamentary alliance that on Friday passed a vote of no confidence in Mr. Rajoy.
Still, his own tenure could be short. The Socialist party holds just under a quarter of the seats in Parliament. So Mr. Sánchez will lead a fragile government that, like the vote against Mr. Rajoy, will rely on support of the far-left Podemos party and nationalist lawmakers from Catalonia and the Basque region.