Catalonia’s radical separatists clear way for new leader

Decided that its four regional parliament members will abstain during an investiture session scheduled.

lunes, 14 may. 2018 06:00 pm
Separatist lawmaker Quim Torra, candidate for regional president, leaves the chamber at the end of the parliamentary session in Barcelona, Spain.
Separatist lawmaker Quim Torra, candidate for regional president, leaves the chamber at the end of the parliamentary session in Barcelona, Spain.

THE ASSOCITAD PRESS
Madrid, Spain | May 13

Catalonia’s most uncompromising separatists said Sunday that they won’t block the former leader of a pro-independence group from being elected as the restive Spanish region’s new leader.

The far-left CUP party decided that its four regional parliament members will abstain during an investiture session scheduled for Monday, which should leave another lawmaker, Quim Torra, with more “yes” than “no” votes.

They have until May 22 to form a new government or new elections will be triggered.

Torra’s election is expected to end the Spanish government’s takeover of running Catalonia’s affairs that started with an illegal declaration of independence by the regional parliament in October.

Separatist parties maintained a slim majority in regional elections in December, but Spanish courts have blocked their previous efforts to elect two separatists in jail awaiting trial and fugitive former regional President Carles Puigdemont. T

hey have until May 22 to form a new government or new elections will be triggered.

Torra failed to be elected during an initial vote on Saturday, when the CUP’s abstention meant he fell short of winning the absolute majority needed to be elected on a first try. He needs fewer votes to secure the simple majority required to win a second round of balloting set for Monday.

The CUP said that while it “wouldn’t block” Torra’s election, it also won’t necessarily support his government if it does not continue Puigdemont’s open defiance of Spanish authorities and push for secession.

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