BBC : Pablo Casado: Spain's conservative Popular Party elects new leader

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Image copyright AFP Image caption Pablo Casado wants to lower income and corporation taxes for Spaniards

Spain's opposition Popular Party (PP) has chosen right-wing congressman Pablo Casado as its new leader.

He replaces former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who was ousted in a no-confidence vote last month.

Mr Casado, 37, has taken a hardline stance on Catalonian separatists and wants to lower taxes.

He will be tasked with rebuilding the centre-right party's support ahead of regional, municipal and European elections next year.

Mr Casado, who served as the party's communications chief, was greeted with cheers and standing ovations as he addressed delegates in Madrid on Saturday.

"I want you to return to your municipalities, to your districts, to your villages, to your cities, to reconnect with society," he said.

"[I want you] to excite our voters, and start preparing a winning project for the next elections."

He added that the party had entered a new phase, and called for economic renewal through improved productivity and lower taxes.

Mr Casado takes control of the party after it was implicated in a corruption scandal that led to the ousting of Mr Rajoy, who had been prime minister since 2011.

Image copyright EPA Image caption Former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was forced out of office last month

Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez, who became prime minister after the vote on 1 June, said Mr Rajoy had failed to take responsibility for his party's involvement in the scandal and filed a no-confidence motion.

The scandal centred on a secret campaign fund which the PP ran from 1999 until 2005.

Mr Sánchez secured a majority in the vote after gaining support from various smaller parties, including the Basque Nationalist Party - 180 MPs backed the motion, 169 voted against, with one abstention.

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