World News

Pro-independence candidate set to become next Catalan president

Pro-independence candidate set to become next Catalan president

Madrid successfully requested the Constitutional Court to cancel a reform voted for last week by Catalonia's majority separatist parliament that would allow Puigdemont - now in self-exile overseas - to be appointed president without having to be present. In the event, pro-independence parties retained their slim majority in the Catalan parliament and a new government will have to decide whether to pursue another collision course with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

With the backing of Mr Puigdemont's Together for Catalonia (JxCat) coalition and the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), the success of Mr Torra's investiture bid is likely to hinge on the votes of the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP).

But Torra has another chance in a second round of voting on Monday - as only a simple majority is needed in the regional parliament.

Speaking in Berlin, former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on Thursday announced his decision to renounce leadership of the region's legislature.

They were also accused of mobilising thousands of pro-independence supporters to prevent police from stopping the October 1 independence referendum from going ahead.

Fresh polls will be triggered if a new leader is not elected by May 22.




Separatist lawmakers changed regional laws Friday to allow Catalonia's president to be sworn in without being present.

Catalan pro-independence parties failed on Saturday for a fourth time to elect a regional leader, 10 days before the deadline to form a government or hold a new election.

But he has been a major cultural figure over the last decade pushing for the region to fully break from Spain.

Government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said earlier the Catalan parliament would not be able to call a session to appoint Puigdemont "at the risk of committing the offence of disobedience".

Puigdemont is now in Berlin, awaiting a decision from a German court on whether he will be extradited to Spain.


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