Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Catalan Parliament votes to replace Puigdemont

Catalan Parliament votes to replace Puigdemont

Separatist allies said they would try to have Puigdemont back in the role by next week after the regional Parliament voted through reforms allowing him to be re-appointed without being present.

The announcement marks a major shift for Puigdemont after he declared Catalonia's independence a year ago, a move that prompted Madrid to intervene and dissolve parliament in favor of fresh elections.

Puigdemont was president of Catalonia in October when he supported a referendum seeking independence from Spain.

The absence of its votes will leave pro-independence candidate Quim Torra with the simple majority needed to be elected regional president.

The far-left CUP occasion selected Sunday that their 4 parliament members will abstain throughout Monday's investiture session, which ought to go away Torra with extra "sure" than "no" votes.

In a video statement from Germany, he proposed political newcomer Quim Torra as his successor.

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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.

Both the Spanish government and the courts have declared the secession illegal and vowed to block it.

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.

"He is the most radical that Puigdemont could find and the only one who voluntarily accepted to be the puppet of Mr. Puigdemont", she told reporters. A new election is likely to return similar results to the last, a poll showed on Friday.

Regional elections were held in December, which separatist parties won again, but every leadership candidate picked by the separatist camp since has fallen flat.

Puigdemont is now in Germany after being detained there in March on a European arrest warrant against him issued by Spain.

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