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Catalan separatists want to re-elect fugitive ex-leader

14 May 2018

Separatist allies announced on 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.

This will be the fifth attempt to form a government since the last administration was sacked by Madrid almost seven months ago for declaring independence.

The far-left pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party said it would abstain from an investiture vote in the regional parliament on Monday.

The former Catalan president has called on the regional parliament to elect his party's deputy to lead the legislature.

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From December 2017, the Catalan Parliament already four times tried to form a government, but all candidates for the post of Prime Minister are either in prison or outside of Spain and can not return to the country for prosecution.

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

Catalonia has been without a president or government since a December regional election.

Torra is a newcomer to politics.

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Catalonia has been in political limbo since December previous year when pro-independence parties won early elections.

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

There he specialised in reviving texts by Catalan journalists from the civil war and Francisco Franco's dictatorship, which severely repressed Catalonia among other regions. "He makes a call to clash, to have more confrontation", she said.

Madrid wants to extradite him to Spain to try him on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds for staging an independence referendum in Catalonia on October 1 even though the courts had ruled it unconstitutional.

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

Catalan separatists want to re-elect fugitive ex-leader