Catalan separatists aim to elect new regional president

Catalan separatists aim to elect new regional president

Catalan separatists aim to elect new regional president

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled against a law passed by the Catalan parliament that the presidential candidate does not have to be present in parliament to be elected, blocking an attempt to pave the way for Puigdemont to be the region's next leader.

Catalonia has been in political limbo since Spain's central government sacked Puigdemont and his cabinet and imposed direct rule on the semi-autonomous region after it unilaterally declared independence on October 27.

If Mr Torra fails to win an absolute majority in the first-round vote in the parliament, he will face a second-round ballot on Monday, needing only a simple majority.

Torra was handpicked by Puigdemont, who stepped aside from the running, to continue his fight with Spain's central government to achieve Catalan independence.

Former leader Carles Puigdemont, now living in Germany, put forward little-known Catalan member of parliament Quim Torra as the new candidate in a televised address published on social networks late on Thursday.

There are now 70 lawmakers in the regional parliament who are pro-independence, against 65 who aren't.

Trump fumes at Homeland Security head over immigration
Nielsen "is hard at work today on the President's security-focused agenda and supporting the men and women of @DHSgov", he added. Still, Nielsen drafted a resignation letter earlier this week but did not submit it, according to a source.

He soon made a name for himself in Catalan nationalist circles, joining various separatist organisations, including those that helped organise the huge rallies that eventually led to last year's independence push and subsequent political crisis. If he is elected to office, he must form a regional government with the intention of leading Catalonia's independence movement.

Torra is a newcomer to politics. "He makes a call to clash, to have more confrontation", she said.

But since then, all candidates proposed by the separatist camp to lead Catalonia have fallen flat, as they are either overseas and wanted by Spain, or already in prison, charged with rebellion.

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

He is the fourth candidate to attempt to fill the role following a regional election in December in which pro-independence parties won a slim majority.

But a German court rejected extraditing him on that charge, judging that rebellion implies violence, and ruling that Puigdemont was not personally involved in violent acts during the referendum.

Related news