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Zapatero sworn in as Spain PM



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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Socialist Party leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been sworn in as Spain's prime minister.

King Juan Carlos presided over the brief ceremony Saturday in which Zapatero took the oath of office before a copy of Spain's 1978 constitution and a centuries-old Bible.

Zapatero, 43, placed his right hand on the constitution and recited the one-line oath at the Zarzuela Palace, the king's residence outside Madrid.

"I promise, through my conscience and honor, to fulfill faithfully the obligations of the post of prime minister, with loyalty to the king, and to uphold the constitution as the fundamental law of the state, and to keep secret the deliberations of the council of ministers," Zapatero said.

Queen Sofia and outgoing conservative prime minister Jose Maria Aznar also attended the ceremony.

On Friday, Zapatero won a parliamentary vote to become the Spanish prime minister.

The results of Friday's investiture vote were 183 in favor and 148 against, with 19 abstaining.

Zapatero was an opponent of the U.S.-led war in Iraq that was supported by Aznar. (Related story)

He vowed in Parliament to bring home Spain's 1,300 troops in Iraq if the United Nations does not have "political and military control" there by June 30.

Zapatero won an upset victory in the March 14 elections just three days after the deadly Madrid train bombings.

Aznar was not seeking a third term, but his handpicked successor, Mariano Rajoy, headed the highly favored conservative ticket.

Zapatero's Socialists won 164 of the 350 seats in Parliament in the March elections but fell short of an outright majority of 176.

In Friday's investiture ballot, other smaller political parties gave Zapatero enough votes to win.

The vote came on the same day as Spanish police arrested three more suspects in connection with the deadly Madrid train bombings last month, according to a National Court spokeswoman. (Full story)

Two of the suspects are from Saudi Arabia and Egypt -- the first time in the investigation that anyone from those countries has been detained, the spokeswoman said Friday. The other suspect is from Morocco.

Also Friday, a Bosnian suspect sought in connection with the Madrid attacks returned to Spain and surrendered to police, officials said. (Full story)

Earlier, a Spanish judge released without charge six Moroccans who had been suspected of playing a role in the March 11 explosions.

Judge Juan del Olmo made the decision after a closed-door series of arraignment hearings at Spain's National Court, which began the previous day, the spokeswoman said.

The court already has charged 18 people, including 14 Moroccans, in the bombings, some of them with mass murder in the deaths of the 190 people killed in the attacks, while others face lesser charges of collaborating with a terrorist group.

CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman contributed to this report.


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