Tags: EU | Spain | Catalonia

Catalan Parliament Eyes Electing Leader Facing Indictment

Catalan Parliament Eyes Electing Leader Facing Indictment

Thursday, 22 March 2018 01:37 PM

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Catalonia's secession-minded parliament debated Thursday whether to elect as the restive Spanish region's next president a former separatist government minister who could be indicted on rebellion charges within 24 hours.

Jordi Turull is the third candidate proposed by pro-independence Catalan lawmakers since a December election in the region, and his possible election brought political tensions in Spain to a head once more.

Turull is among the ex-officials from Catalonia's previous government facing possible rebellion charges over the regional assembly's failed attempt last year to break away from Spain.

However, he looked to be shy of the votes needed to be elected as the new president Thursday because the anti-capitalist left CUP party said it wouldn't support him.

Spain's national government rejected the separatists' plan to put Turull in power. The vote in Barcelona was another ploy in the region's frustrated goal of gaining independence, the secretary of state for territorial administration, Roberto Bermudez de Castro, said.

The central government has been running Catalonia from Madrid since snatching away Catalonia's regional powers over the October breakaway vote, which courts have ruled unconstitutional.

Bermudez de Castro told the Spanish Senate the government will oppose the election of any candidate who faces legal proceedings. A Supreme Court judge overseeing the rebellion investigation plans to issue indictments Friday, and Turull could be among those charged.

That could lead to Turull being imprisoned and, at a later stage, possibly banned from public office.

If Turull is not jailed on Friday, parliament rules give him a second chance to be considered as the northeastern region's leader on Saturday, when he would need a simple majority of votes.

Also Thursday, the Spain Supreme Court rejected an appeal to release two other Catalan independence leaders from pre-trial detention while a judge investigates Catalonia's attempt to secede.

The top court ruled that there was still a risk that Joaquim Forn, the ousted Catalan Interior Minister, and Jordi Sanchez, the former president of the pro-independence civil rights group ANC, to repeat the offenses that landed them in jail.

____

Aritz Parra contributed from Madrid. Barry Hatton contributed from Lisbon, Portugal.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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Catalonia's secession-minded parliament debated Thursday whether to elect as the restive Spanish region's next president a former separatist government minister who could be indicted on rebellion charges within 24 hours.Jordi Turull is the third candidate proposed by...
EU,Spain,Catalonia
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2018-37-22
Thursday, 22 March 2018 01:37 PM
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