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Spain ousts U.S. -allied ruling party

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Spain ousts U.S. -allied ruling party

Voters turn against government after Madrid terrorist bombings

Monday, March 15, 2004



MADRID -- Spaniards voted yesterday to remove the party of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar from power, apparently blaming his staunch backing of the U.S.-led war in Iraq for the bombing attacks that killed 200 people Thursday.

While polls taken before the bombings had given Aznar's Popular Party a comfortable lead, voters overwhelmingly endorsed candidates from the opposition Socialists, whose leader, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has promised to immediately withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq, redirect Spain's foreign policy away from the United States and restore good relations with European allies such as France and Germany that had opposed the Iraq war.



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