The Parliament again failed to elect a head of government

Larry Hoffman
May 14, 2018

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.

Torra, a close ally of former president Carles Puigdemont, failed to win an absolute majority in the Catalan parliament on Saturday but will require only a simple majority in the next round of voting.

Lawmakers from Catalonia's leading separatist party say they will try to re-elect fugitive former leader Carles Puigdemont as the president of the region despite the expected prohibition by Spanish courts.

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

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

Spanish courts have blocked past efforts by Catalan separatists to continue their secession push.

Mr Torra's investiture would prevent the need for new elections, which are due to be called if a Catalan president is not in place by May 22nd.

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

Catalonia is Spain's richest and most populous region.

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 fled to Belgium just days after being sacked by Madrid, was detained in Germany in March after Spain issued a European arrest warrant against him.

It will be the fourth attempt to elect a leader after failures with Jordi Turull and Jordi Sanchez, who are now in prison, and Carles Puigdemont, who is now in Germany after leaving Spain to escape charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds.

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

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