Newly appointed regional president Quim Torra declared that the vision for an independent Catalonia is still alive. A close ally of exiled leader Carles Puigdemont, 55-year old lawyer Torra vowed to build “an independent state in the form of a republic.”
Torra clinched a close victory with the Members of the regional Parliament voting 66 in favour, 65 against, and 4 abstentions. This was the sixth attempt at forming a new government for Catalonia after disagreements between pro-independent and anti-independence MP’s.
Many see Torra as Puigdemont’s direct successor with the former leader himself telling Italy’s La Stampa before Monday’s vote in Parliament that Torra “takes power in provisional conditions and he is aware of that. From October 27, he will be able to call new elections”.
The leader of the centrist, anti-independence Ciudadanos party in Catalonia, Ines Arrimadas, called Torra a mere “puppet” for Puigdemont.
After referendum held in October 2017, the Catalan separatist authorities said 90 percent of those who cast their vote wanted independence. The voter turnout in the referendum declared illegal by the Spanish government was around 40%, with 2.2 million people out of 5.5 million eligible voters making it to the polls.
Reacting to Quim Torra’s declaration, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for “understanding and harmony” but warned that he would not tolerate any breaking of the law and Spain’s constitution.
Source: AFP, The Independent