Spain's ruling centrist party ended a marathon national congress with a show of unity that nevertheless failed to dissipate doubts about its capacity to provide long-term stable government. A challenge to the leadership of the Union of the Democratic Center (UCD) by party dissidents did not succeed, and supporters of outgoing Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez held on to the key posts. But the critics, headed by Landelino Lavilla, leader of the UCD's Christian Democratic right wing, did better than expected. The outcome of the congress appeared to clear the way for King Juan Carlos to propose the nomination of Deputy Prime Minister Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo as the new prime minister.
Meanwhile, a general strike to protest the killing of a kidnapped nuclear engineer by sepa ratist guerrillas paralyzed the Spanish Basque country.