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MADRID – Socialist opposition leader Pedro Sanchez is on the brink of ending Mariano Rajoy's more than six-year reign as Spanish prime minister in what would be the first ouster of a serving leader by parliament in four decades of democracy.
Barring last-minute surprises, a no-confidence vote that would oust Rajoy and make Sanchez prime minister-designate is expected to pass by a narrow majority in parliament's 350-seat lower house.
Rajoy's likely removal follows corruption convictions last week involving former members of his conservative Popular Party.
The prime minister wasn't in the Congress of Deputies on Friday morning when the debate resumed on the motion ahead of a final vote. He didn't attend Thursday afternoon either, going instead to a central Madrid restaurant with some members of his cabinet.