Separatists Fail To Elect Quim Torra As New Catalonia Leader

Former Catalan President renounces leadership from exile

Separatist allies announced Saturday they would try to have Puigdemont, now in Germany after being detained there in March on a European arrest warrant, re-appointed as president by next week after the regional parliament voted through reforms allowing him to take the role without being present.

The region has been in political limbo since Spain's conservative central government imposed direct rule on the region after it unilaterally declared independence in October.

He was handpicked as a candidate by deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, now in exile in Germany and facing jail on rebellion charges for last year's secession bid if he returns to Spain.

However, the Deputy may count on success in the second session of Parliament, which will take place on Monday, may 14.

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. Currently, the former head of the government of Catalonia Carles Pujdeme is located in Germany and has no right to leave its territory, reports the online edition of the Chronicle.info with reference to the Correspondent.

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Mr Torra, vice-president of the activist group Omnium Cultural - whose leader, Jordi Cuixart, has been in preventative prison since October - is the so-called "Plan D" candidate after three previous inauguration attempts were blocked by the Spanish courts.

Catalonia's pro-independence parties risk an election being automatically triggered if they don't form a government by May 22.

In a video statement from Germany, he proposed political newcomer Quim Torra as his successor. "He makes a call to clash, to have more confrontation", she said.

However, pro-independence parties again won a majority of seats.

A German court last month dismissed the extradition request for Puigdemont on the rebellion allegations and released him on bail.

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