Catalan parliament to vote in former-leader candidacy

Catalan parliament to vote in former-leader candidacy

Catalan parliament speaker announces Jan. 30 as date for vote of confidence in former leader candidacy

By Hasan Esen

MADRID (AA) – The Catalan parliament on Thursday announced that it will have a vote of confidence in former leader Carles Puigdemont's candidacy as president of the region.

The new speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Roger Torrent said in a statement that the confidence vote will be held on Jan. 30.

The statement did not specify whether Puigdemont-- who fled to Belgium following a unilateral independence vote on Oct. 1. -- physically present during the parliament session or just join it via video conference.

On Jan. 17, Torrent -- a member of the pro-independence Republican Catalan Left (ERC) party -- was elected as the new speaker of the Catalan Parliament.

Separatist parties want Puigdemont to lead the region again, but it raises many complications in Spain.

If Puigdemont returns to Spain, he will be automatically arrested, as he faces serious charges of rebellion and sedition for leading the Catalan parliament to declare independence in late October.

Although his supporters insist that Puigdemont can potentially take an oath by video link from Brussels, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy argues that it is not possible.


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