May 20, 2018

Catalan parliament delays naming leader but backs Puigdemont

01 February 2018, 12:14 | Erma Lawrence

What's next for Catalonia and would-be leader Puigdemont?

Uncertainty swirls around Puigdemont investiture vote

However, the speaker of the Catalan parliament, Roger Torrent, maintained Tuesday that Catalonia's next president was a decision for the region itself, and not the central Spanish government.

Torrent did not give a new date for the vote, saying only that the session would reconvene as soon as Spanish authorities guarantee they "won't interfere" in Puigdemont's re-election.

"The parliamentary speaker would undoubtedly face liabilities for failing to respect a court decision", Rajoy said yesterday morning.

Puigdemont, calling for unity, insisted Tuesday that only he could lead Catalonia.

As hundreds of protesters gathered outside the regional parliament in Barcelona, some of them wearing masks of Puigdemont's face, CUP spokesman Carles Riera called for "a new period of mobilisation and civil disobedience".

The Spanish government was reportedly pleased with the postponement, having opposed Mr Puigdemont's candidacy ever since December's Catalan election, which saw pro-independence parties retain their narrow majority.

Mr Puigdemont has been in exile in Belgium for the last three months and an arrest warrant has been issued against him for alleged sedition and rebellion.

Mr. Torrent said that within 10 days, the Catalan Parliament would appeal the ruling, which he called "a judicial bungle", created to defend the political interests of Mr. Rajoy's government. This comes despite the fact that Mr Puigdemont is living in Belgium.

Meanwhile, demonstrations were held in support of the pro-independence candidate, near the parliament building. Last weekend, Joan Tardà, a leading politician from the Esquerra Republicana party, told the newspaper La Vanguardia that his party backed Mr. Puigdemont, but that his re-election bid might have to be "sacrificed" if it risked endangering the formation of another separatist government.

But Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Puigdemont had no choice but to turn himself in.

Rajoy said he was "satisfied" with Saturday's Constitutional Court ruling and warned that "disobeying" the decision would have consequences.

"It's true that there hasn't been a direct challenge to the constitutional court today, but nor has the real problem been solved, which is that Puigdemont can not be president", said Inés Arrimadas, leader of the party in the region.

A spokeswoman said pressure applied by the government and the country's top court "have prevented a mockery of our democracy", according to AP.

Other News

Trending Now

Aden clashes: Yemen PM accuses separatists of staging coup
Medics on the ground told Reuters that at least ten Yemeni fighters were killed and 30 wounded in the fighting. The government has now asked neighbouring countries to help, including the Saudi-led coalition.

Chiefs Agree To Trade Pro Bowl QB Alex Smith To Redskins
McLovin really tore into Alex Smith when Dan said "go back a little bit", to which McLovin replied, "it's not Mahomes". The deal can not become official until the start of the NFL's 2018 league year on March 14, the report noted.

Are 'Heat-Not-Burn' Tobacco Products Safer Than Cigarettes?
On July 28, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced plans for a sweeping regulatory "road map" on tobacco and nicotine products. One claim the committee voted in favor of was that iQOS reduces the body's exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals.

Philippe Coutinho Won't Be Replaced in January Window
Liverpool FC will take on FC Porto in the last 16 of the Champions League starting next month. "[Henderson] did really well when he came on, like Millie did", said Klopp. "We have to do better.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen Announces Retirement from Congress
The Cook Political Report has shifted his reliably Republican-leaning district to a " toss-up " this year. Frelinghuysen won by nearly 20 points in 2016, but he was viewed to be vulnerable this cycle.

Russian Federation to field 30-35 athletes in Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics
No one implicated "knowingly or unknowingly by the numerous anti-doping investigations in Russia" can take part, Parsons said. Russian Federation was suspended by the IPC in August 2016 following revelations of widespread state-sponsored doping.

Armed forces reassess security after Strava app reveals troop locations
Smaller sites also appear on the map in northern and western Iraq , indicating the presence of other, lesser-known installations. The Post added that other journalists on Twitter were also weighing in on what they identified to be US military bases .

Li edges out McIlroy to win in Dubai
I kept leaving myself in places where I couldn't really give it a run at the hole because they were downhill, downgrain, downwind. Some people won't be happy with me, but hey, I don't mind if I win the Masters.

Melania Trump: Jet-setter on the taxpayer dime
Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., before heading to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday. She reportedly visited the spa, then quickly left on Friday, right before a fundraiser was to be held there.

Vaping may raise cancer risk
While tobacco smoke contains a host of risky chemicals, e-cig liquid consists only of nicotine and relatively harmless solvents. About one in 20 people in the United Kingdom has adopted a vaping habit as a markedly safer alternative to smoking tobacco.