SPAIN’S Socialist party leader has announced plans to retire from politics after his term is up.

The PSOE’s Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, 62, will be giving up his seat in Parliament to resume his previous career as a university chemistry teacher.

The decision is clearly a response to the PSOE’s recent decline in popularity, as Spaniards have turned to the more conservative People’s Party (PP) in face of the economic crisis.

Shortly after his party lost nine of their 23 seats in the European Parliamentary elections last month, the former Deputy Prime Minister announced his decision to end his 21-year-long political career.