29th September 2020
Catalan Parliament
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Quim Torra ratified as Catalan president, despite electoral authority ruling

Catalan president Quim Torra appeared before an extraordinary plenary session of the Catalan Parliament at his own request on Saturday afternoon, only a day after Spain’s Electoral Authority (JEC) disqualified him from office.

Torra called upon the Catalan MPs to ‘defend the democratic will and sovereignty of Parliament’ in response to the Electoral Authority’s ruling, which he said was aimed at ‘bringing down a president through irregular procedures’ in ‘another attempt to alter what has been decided by the Catalan people, another blow to democracy, and another coup against our institutions’.

At the start of his speech, Torra said, ‘If this chamber does not accept my ousting, I will continue as president. If it does, I won’t oppose.’

Torra said he would not ‘give up any right of defence’ and that his lawyers would lodge ‘as many appeals as it takes to put an end to this legal and political aberration. Their threats and persecution won’t stop us.’

ALSO READ: Quim Torra disqualified from Catalan presidency

MPs from the three pro-independence parties – Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and CUP voted in favour of a motion reading: ‘The Catalan parliament rejects the resolution of the electoral board.’

The motion also qualified the electoral board’s decision as a ‘coup d’état’ and accuses Spain of launching a ‘general cause against the independence camp’.

The pro-independence parties also called for ‘the end of repression, the recognition of the right to self-determination for Catalonia, amnesty for the prisoners and free return of exiles.’

ALSO READ: Quim Torra: ‘an act of vengeance, not justice’

The motion backed jailed leader Oriol Junqueras‘ right to be MEP – after the electoral authority also ruled to not grant the jailed former Catalan vice president his MEP seat, despite the ruling on 19 December by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg that Junqueras had immunity after being elected as an MEP on 26 May.

Catalan Parliament
The Catalan Parliament on 4 January 2019. (Photo: catalangovernment.eu)

The Catalunya en Comú group presented a separate motion saying the electoral board has gone too far in their powers.

ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez greeted by ‘Sit and Talk’ protestors in Catalonia

The Catalan Socialists (PSC) put forward another motion saying Torra’s disqualification was not final and was subject to appeals, which was unsuccessful.

Whilst the Ciudadanos (Cs) and the People’s Party (PP) did not present any motion, they had previously welcomed the electoral board’s decision, which arose from their own legal initiatives.

Cs leader in the Catalan Parliament, Lorena Roldán, called Torra ‘former president’.

Click here for all articles and updates the Catalan Trial, verdicts and sentencing

 

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