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Mariano Rajoy

Spain's conservatives convene to choose Rajoy's replacement

Former Spanish prime minister and veteran politician Mariano Rajoy is vowing loyalty to his Popular Party in an emotional farewell, as the party's leadership transitions in a bid to retake power in Spain.

The 63-year-old lost a parliamentary vote last month to his socialist opponent, Pedro Sanchez, in the wake of graft convictions for members of his center-right party.

Now in the opposition, members of PP began Friday a two-day congress to choose between Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, 47, who was deputy prime minister until June, and Pablo Casado, 37, a lawyer and rising party figure.

The winner faces the challenges of reuniting a party split by a bitter leadership...