SPANISH prime minister Mariano Rajoy was facing a no-confidence motion yesterday, along with demands for a snap election after a judge cast doubt over his evidence to a long-running corruption trial.

Rajoy – who also faces legal action over his refusal to approve new Catalan government ministers – said he would serve his full, four-year term and would not call an early election.

“This goes against the political stability that our country needs, and it goes against the economic recovery. It is bad for Spain,” he said.

Opposition socialists (PSOE) presented their no-confidence motion to parliament and Rajoy’s former allies, Ciudadanos (Citizens), issued an ultimatum for him to call an election or face their own no-confidence motion.

Rajoy had already been under fire for his handling of the independence crisis in Catalonia, with many voters turning away from his People’s Party (PP) to the centre-right Ciudadanos.

Twenty-nine people with links to the PP, including a former treasurer and other senior members, were convicted on Thursday of a string of offences in the cash-for-contracts case known as “Gurtel”, including falsifying accounts, accepting bribes and tax crimes. They were sentenced to a total of 351 years in jail.

The case related to use of a slush fund by the conservative PP in the 1990s and early 2000s to illegally finance campaigns and has plagued Rajoy since he came to power in 2011.

In his ruling, a judge said there was evidence the party ran a slush fund for many years and that the credibility of Rajoy’s testimony denying it “should be questioned”.

“(His) testimony does not appear as plausible enough to refute the strong evidence showing the existence of a slush fund in the party,” said the judge.

Ciudadanos, which helped the PP pass this year’s budget bill on Wednesday, said the trial was a tipping point.

Rajoy said his party would appeal against the ruling.

Catalan president Quim Torra, meanwhile, has demanded that Rajoy approve four of his nominations for ministerial posts, after he received legal advice that Spain must allow the reinstatement of deposed ministers.

Spain has blocked the nominations by refusing to publish them in the official gazette, but Torra has written to Rajoy calling for their publication “without further delay”.