SPAIN’S ruling PP party has congratulated Gibraltar on ousting its old leader Peter Caruana.

It comes after Fabian Picardo’s GSLP Liberal party had a sensational win to seize power from Caruana, who had ruled for 15 years.

The Conservatives are hopeful that the new leader will work towards a more ‘permanent dialogue’ between the two countries.

They hope to make progress on the issue of sovereignty through a return to the 1984 Brussels Process, a negotiation between Spain and Britain in which Gibraltar had a voice, but no vote.

Algeciras PP mayor Jose Ignacio Landaluce said he wanted to find solutions to various local issues. “Without one having priority over the other,” he said.

Junta boss Jose Antonio Grinan also said he hoped the new leader would be ‘more cooperative’.

Picardo however, insisted that Gibraltar’s sovereignty is not ‘up for negotiation’.

He also promised to put aside party politics and focus on the things that are in Gibraltar’s best interests.

The GSLP Liberals won a narrow election victory by just two per cent, claiming 48.88 per cent of the vote, following an 81.4 per cent turnout.

The UK Liberal Democrats were also quick to congratulate Picardo’s party, with Deputy Leader Simon Hughes MP declaring that December 8 was an historic day for Liberals in Gibraltar.

Meanwhile Picardo unveiled his cabinet with Joseph Garcia taking up the role of Deputy Chief Minister while former Chief Joe Bossano will be responsible for employment and labour.

Gilbert Licudi will become Minister for Education while overseeing the financial services and gaming industry.

Other cabinet members are Steven Linares (Sports and Culture), Charles Bruzon (Housing), John Cortes (Health and Environment), Paul Balban (Health & Safety) and Samantha Sacramento (Equality and Social Services).

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