Photo: Spanish Parliament
The lower house of Spain’s Parliament on Wednesday voted by a wide majority to pass the law approving the abdication of King Juan Carlos, whose son, Crown Prince Felipe, will ascend to the throne next week.
Passage of the law required strong support from lawmakers since it deals with the position of head of state, and members of Parliament from Spain’s two largest parties - the governing Popular Party, or PP, and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, or PSOE, - provided solid backing for the legislation.
The law passed on a vote of 299-19, with 23 abstentions.
The “no” votes were cast by members of leftist and leftist-nationalist parties, while 22 members of center-right nationalist parties and one PSOE member abstained.
The legislation now goes to the Senate, which is expected to debate the measure and hold a vote next Tuesday.
Senate approval of the law will finalize the abdication of Juan Carlos de Borbon, who announced on June 2 that he was stepping down from the throne to open the way for a new generation.
PP and PSOE leaders agreed in the debate ahead of the vote that the reign of King Juan Carlos, who ascended to the throne in November 1975, had been fruitful, allowing Spain to consolidate its democracy and liberty.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and PSOE leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba praised the king for the role he played as a stabilizing force in Spanish society.
The 46-year-old crown prince will be proclaimed Felipe VI of Spain in a ceremony before Parliament, replacing his father as head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces.
King Juan Carlos said last week that he began preparing to step down in January, when he turned 76.
Juan Carlos ascended to the throne on Nov. 22, 1975, and his son, Felipe de Borbon, became Prince of Asturias, the title held by the heir to the Spanish Crown, in January 1977.