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Mariano Rajoy has sworn in as prime minister and is no longer acting

His tardiness in appointing a new Cabinet implies his chosen ministers won’t be able to take possession until Friday.

After ten months of deadlock since the general election on December 20 2015, the leader of the PP has sworn his position in the Zarzuela Palace for his second mandate in the Moncloa.

Mariano Rajoy chose the traditional formula of swearing, not of promise, with his left hand on the Constitution and before Felipe VI, the State hierarchy and the Justice Minister, Rafael Catalá, who has exercised as Major Notary of the Reign, ‘I swear to faithfully comply with my obligations as charged with prime minister and with loyalty to the King and to guard and keep guarded the Constitution as a fundamental regulation of State, and to maintain as secret the deliberations in the Cabinet’, read Rajoy.

The ceremony in the audiences hall of the Zarzuela has been the first of this official type officiated by Felipe VI, who has not had to name his head of Government since ascending to the throne.

The King, recently arrived from the Latin American Summit, sanctioned yesterday the Royal Decree 414/2016 which this morning has been published in the Official State Bulletin.
‘I come to name as prime minister of Government, don Marino Rajoy Brey, who has been chosen by the Congress of Members with a simple majority in the second vote, held in the session of October 29, in agreement with the established in part three of article ninety-nine of the Constitutional law’ preys the text.

It will not be the last time this week when Rajoy and the Monarch meet in the palace. As announced by Rajoy at the end of the investiture debate on Saturday, as on Thursday the prime minister will return to the Zarzuela to inform Felipe VI of the composition of his Cabinet, before making public the list of ministers.

So now to all effects Rajoy is Prime Minister of the Government, and as such has ten days to name his new Cabinet after ten months of inaction; the delay has caught several leaders of the party by surprise, who are now speculating on who will be promoted or who will be set aside, until Monday.

This will however allow the press to intensify their speculations but they all know by now that Mariano Rajoy is a man who likes to bide his time and let things arrive at his wanting.

Rajoy will now be pondering on whether to ask for advice from his closest collaborators, and advisors to establish a ministerial structure.

Taking for granted he will be renewing the posts of Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, Rafael Catalá, Fátima Báñez, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo and Isabel Garcia Tejerina, more doubtful are Jorge Fernández Díaz, José Manuel García-Margallo – the well known Gibraltar hater or Cristóbal Montero.

Expected to be promoted are María Dolores de Cospedal, Jorge Moragas, José Luis Ayllón or Rafael Hernando. The president of the PP in Cataluña, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho is convinced there will be a Catalan in the next Cabinet.

Also the PP hierarchy expect some white rabbits of surprise from Rajoy, as in 2011 when the surprises were José Ignacio Wert and Pedro Morenés. The first Cabinet Meeting will be held on Friday and then a new era will open where cross party collaboration will be the leitmotiv of governance.

Apart from consolidating the economic recovery, the new Cabinet will have to face the threatened sovereignist process from Cataluña and the back bone of Spain, noted the leader of the PP in Extremadura, José Antonio Monago.