Catalonian lawmakers to hold second vote for president on Saturday

Photo: Reuters/Albert Gea
Photo: Reuters/Albert Gea

Today, the Catalonian Parliament might vote again to elect a regional president.

On Thursday, the body failed to elect a leader after the far-left secessionist Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party broke ranks with the independence movement to protest the bloc’s support for engagement with Madrid rather than unilateral secession. Pro-independence candidate Jordi Turull received only 64 out of the 68 votes needed to secure the necessary absolute majority. If a second investiture debate happens today, Mr Turull would only need a simple majority to assume the presidency.

Today, Turull is set to appear in front of the Spanish Supreme Court for a continuation of the investigation into the charges of rebellion and sedition levied against him. The court could rule the candidate ineligible to hold office or imprison him if it finds there is enough incriminating evidence, thus torpedoing any hopes of a second debate later today. If no investiture is held, a deadline to appoint a new president will be set for May 22.

Should no election be held today, it is possible that Catalonia’s pro-independence bloc will become even more radical to secure the CUP’s necessary four votes going forward. This would entail fewer calls for engagement with Madrid and the heightening tensions between the regional and federal governments.

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