Spain’s Deputy PM steps down to run for PM


Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba stepped down from government on Friday to concentrate on his coming election campaign to succeed unpopular PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. General elections are due by March next year, but are widely expected to be brought forward to October or November.
“I’ve told the prime minister my desire to quit the government and to do it immediately,” Rubalcaba told reporters at the government’s weekly cabinet news conference.
Zapatero has already said he will not run for a third term in office. The popularity of the ruling Socialist party has declined under his leadership, due to high unemployment and austerity measures. Rubalcaba said he wants to concentrate on his campaign. No successor to his positions has been named.