People protest outside the People’s Party headquarters in Madrid in 2013.
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When Jose Luis Penas recorded fellow councilors allegedly taking bribes from businessmen a decade ago, it marked the start of a series of corruption scandals that have engulfed Spain's ruling party and could thwart its chances of retaining power.The PP denies any senior party officials were involved in any cases of alleged corruption, including Gurtel.But the political cost has nevertheless been high for the party and its leader, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. "I don't think the PP's vote has bottomed out; it could fall quite a lot more".He said the party was losing support due to perceptions among voters that it was shielding those implicated in scandals, something denied by the party's leadership. All the suspects, and the party, have denied wrongdoing.After failing to form a coalition, Rajoy in January passed the baton to Sanchez, who has until March to form a government that receives the backing of parliament. If he too fails, other parties will have a further two months to form a government, before a new election will be called.
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