Catalan parliament set to vote for new president next week

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BALLOT: Cataluña's parliament is set to meet on Monday to elect a new president for the region

CATALUÑA’S legislature is due to elect a new head for its regional government at a meeting next Monday, its speaker has confirmed.

Pro-independence parties have put forward Jordi Sanchez, who is currently in jail await trial on sedition charges, for the role which was held by Carles Puigemont.

Sanchez has reportedly submitted a request to be allowed to attend the session but it has not yet been approved by the judge.

The vote comes as several of the leaders of secessionist parties remain in prison or abroad, leaving them unable to cast votes.

Puigemont, who remains in Belgium following the region’s push for independence last year, withdrew has candidacy for the role on March 1. A warrant is still out for his arrest for treason in Spain.

Sanchez, the former leader of the pro-independence Asamblea Nacional Catalana, does not have the complete backing of the secessionist group in Parliament. The far-left CUP said they would abstain in the vote, according to reports.

The election of a new president follows the snap regional elections held on December 21 which left pro-independence parties with a majority overall. The unionist Ciudadanos party was the largest single party in the legislature following the ballot.

The snap election was called after a majority of those in the parliament voted to declare independence on October 27, which led to the national government in Madrid imposing direct rule on the region.

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