Leader of the Opposition (Spain)

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Leader of the Opposition of Spain
Líder de la oposición
Logo PSOE 2013.png
Logo of the largest opposition party
Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón.jpg
Incumbent
Pedro Sánchez

since 26 July 2014
Residence No official residence
Appointer None
The title is automatically awarded to the leader of the largest parliamentary party in the Congress of Deputies not in government.
Term length No fixed term
General elections to the Congress of Deputies are held every four years at most. As it is not an official title, its hold is not subject to law. The holder usually remains as such for the duration of its tenure as party leader.
Formation 1977
First holder Felipe González

The Leader of the Opposition (Spanish: Líder de la oposición) is an unofficial title traditionally held by the leader of the largest parliamentary party not in government in the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the Spanish parliament, the Cortes Generales. The Leader of the Opposition is invariably seen as an alternative to the incumbent Prime Minister of Spain at the time.

Despite its non-official character, the figure of Leader of Opposition has gained importance over the years because of its symbolism, usually receiving much more attention from the media in parliamentary sessions and activities, such as in the yearly-held State of the Nation Debate.

There is some ambiguity regarding the 'leader of the largest opposition party' definition. Usually, Leaders of the Opposition are both the official chairmen of the party as well as the candidate for Prime Minister, yet there has been one instance where both positions were held by different people. As such, in 1998–1999 Joaquín Almunia was the de facto party chairman, because of his position as Secretary-General of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (then-largest opposition party), but it was Josep Borrell who held the title of Leader of Opposition in parliament, as he had been elected as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate. For instance, the Leader of the Opposition is usually the person who is expected to lead the party in the next general election.

Leaders of the Opposition of Spain under the 1978 constitution[edit]

Names in bold indicate leaders that went on to become Prime Ministers.

Main Opposition Party Leader of the Opposition Date Days Legislature
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party Felipe González Debate Estado Nación 1984.jpg Felipe González 13 July 1977 1968 Const. (1977)
30 March 1979 I (1979)
People's Alliance Manuel Fraga Congreso Diputados.jpg Manuel Fraga 2 December 1982 1660 II (1982)
24 July 1986 III (1986)
Antonio Hernández Mancha Retrato.jpg Antonio Hernández Mancha 8 February 1987 712
People's Party Manuel Fraga Congreso Diputados.jpg Manuel Fraga 20 January 1989 227
Aznar at the Azores, March 17, 2003.jpg José María Aznar 4 September 1989 2434
5 December 1989 IV (1989)
9 July 1993 V (1993)
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party Felipe González Debate Estado Nación 1984.jpg Felipe González 4 May 1996 413 VI (1996)
Joaquin Almunia.jpg Joaquín Almunia 21 June 1997 311
Josep Borrell.jpg Josep Borrell 24 April 1998 381
Joaquin Almunia.jpg Joaquín Almunia 14 May 1999 303
Manuel Chaves.jpg Manuel Chaves 12 March 2000 132 VII (2000)
Presidente José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero - La Moncloa 2011.jpg José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero 22 July 2000 1364
People's Party Mariano Rajoy - EPP.JPG Mariano Rajoy 16 April 2004 2805 VIII (2004)
11 April 2008 IX (2008)
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba (diciembre de 2010).jpg Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba 21 December 2011 948 X (2011)
Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón.jpg Pedro Sánchez 26 July 2014 149

Pedro Sánchez (politician) Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba Mariano Rajoy José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero Manuel Chaves González Joaquín Almunia Josep Borrell Joaquín Almunia Felipe González José María Aznar Manuel Fraga Antonio Hernández Mancha Manuel Fraga Felipe González

See also[edit]