Prime Minister of Spain

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The Prime Minister, or President of the Government (Spanish: Presidente del Gobierno), of Spain is the Spanish head of government. The President of the Government is elected by the Congress of Deputies (the lower house of parliament) on being proposed by the King. The current office is established under the Constitution of 1978. It is presently occupied by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

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Official title

The Spanish head of government is known, in Spanish, as the Presidente del Gobierno. Literally translated, this title is "President of the Government", but nevertheless the office-holder is commonly referred to in English as the "Prime Minister": the usual term for the head of government in a constitutional monarchy.

In Spain, he or she is often called simply Presidente and Spaniards will often translate his or her title in English to President. More than once, the Spanish term has caused embarrassing errors among foreign authorities, for example when Jeb Bush (Governor of Florida and brother of George W. Bush, the President of the United States) referred to the head of government as the "President of the Spanish Republic".

Election

The President of the Government is not directy elected by the people but indirectly elected by the legislature. Following legislative elections, which take place every four years, the leader of the majority party, or the leader of the majority coalition, is usually proposed as President of the Government by the King and elected by the Congress of Deputies. The Vice President of the Government (or Deputy Prime Minister) is appointed by the King on the proposal of the President.

List of Presidents of the Government

This list only comprises the current period of Spanish democracy. To see the full list, refer to List of Presidents of the Government of Spain.

Name Took Office Party
Adolfo Suárez González July 3 1976 UCD (2 terms)
Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo Bustelo February 25 1981 UCD (1 term)
Felipe González Márquez December 1 1982 PSOE (4 terms)
José María Aznar López May 4 1996 PP (2 terms)
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero April 17, 2004 PSOE (1 term)

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