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undergroundnewsroom.com May 27, 2018


Catalan Parliament votes to replace Puigdemont

14 May 2018, 12:16 | Damon Campbell

Catalan regional assembly investiture debate scheduled for Saturday

Puigdemont appoints a candidate to chair the Generalitat

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.

If CUP abstains in the second vote, a simple majority will be enough to see Torra elected as the 131st leader of the region and bring an end to the central Spanish government control which has been in place in Catalonia since October 27, 2017.

Torra faces divisions within the separatist camp, composed of the CUP, the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) party and Puigdemont's Together for Catalonia grouping, according to Antonio Barroso, deputy research director at Teneo Intelligence.

On Friday, the exiled former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, announced from Berlin his decision to name Mr Torra as his successor.

Ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on Thursday rejected being re-appointed as leader of the region, following pressure from Spain's government and months of political turmoil over its independence bid.

If he does not get this backing, a simple majority in a second vote 48 hours later, on Monday, will be sufficient under Spanish electoral law.

Mr Torra (55) is not facing any charges in connection with last autumn's failed independence drive, meaning his candidacy has no apparent legal obstacles.

Catalonia has been in political limbo since December past year when pro-independence parties won early elections.

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The formation of a new regional government is required for Spain to lift the state of direct rule.

The declaration came just weeks after Catalan separatist authorities held a referendum despite a court ban, which was marred by police violence as security forces tried to stop people from voting.

Puigdemont proposed Torra as candidate in an address released on his YouTube video channel.

There he specialised in reviving texts by Catalan journalists from the civil war and Francisco Franco's dictatorship, which severely repressed Catalonia among other regions.

If a president is not sworn in by May 22 a new election will be triggered.

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, who first fled to Belgium, was detained in Germany in March after Spain issued a European arrest warrant against him.



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