While a new parliament is yet to be formed, the constituent assembly of Spain’s Congress got underway on Wednesday, with the speaker of the lower house voted in and the deputies swearing their oaths. The results of the December 20 general elections left no clear winner, and marked the end of Spain’s two-party system, which had been in place since the return of democracy in the late 1970s. The rise of new parties such as Podemos and Ciudadanos meant plenty of new faces in Congress today, from Spain’s first black deputy to the Podemos politician who brought her baby with her to work.
A speaker from a minority party. Deputy Patxi López was elected speaker of Congress with the combined votes of the Socialists and Ciudadanos. It marked the first time that a speaker has been elected from a party that did not receive the most votes at the general elections. López was elected during a second round of voting with 130 votes over the 71 votes cast for his closest competitor, Carolina Bescansa of Podemos.
Bescansa’s baby. Podemos Deputy Carolina Bescansa caused a stir across social media when she decided to bring her infant son to Congress. The lower chamber provides a nursery for its members but Bescansa opted to bring the months-old baby to the floor with her.
First black deputy. Rita Bosaho, Spain’s first black lawmaker, takes her seat in parliament. A history graduate, she has been employed for the past 23 years as a health worker at Alicante’s General Hospital.
To Congress by bicycle. EQUO Deputy Juan López de Uralde arrives for Wednesday’s session on his bicycle. This is the first time that the green party has held seats in the Spanish parliament, and used their journey to work as a call for more environmentally friendly transport.
New styles. Podemos Deputy Alberto Rodríguez, of Tenerife, who is characterized by his dreadlocks, also took his seat in Congress on Wednesday. Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy looks on.
Former colleagues. Two ex-members of Union, Progressive and Democracy (UPyD) party now represent other groups. Irene Lozano was elected on the Socialist ticket while Toni Cantó won his seat representing Ciudadanos.
And meanwhile, in the Senate... Pío García Escudero (PP) won his re-election as leader of the upper chamber with 144 votes out of 266 in his favor.