Quim Torra, the Catalan president, has refused to step down from his post, despite the Spanish Supreme Court confirming the Spanish Electoral Authority (JEC)’s decision to suspend him as an MP until a final decision is reached on his ban from public office.
It follows a conviction disqualifying him from public office over the yellow ribbon row, after Catalonia’s High Court of Justice found him guilty of disobedience on 19 December.
The ruling, however, is not definitive until the Supreme Court issues a decision on Torra’s appeal.
The Supreme Court has yet to decide on whether the JEC has the authority to make such decisions, as requested by Torra in his appeal. The court still has to reconsider the Catalan high court’s conviction of the Catalan leader and make a final decision. Meanwhile, however, Torra’s seat has been suspended.
The Barcelona Electoral Board has given the general secretary of the Catalan parliament, Xavier Muro Bas, 48 hours to name a replacement from the Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) party for Torra’s seat. If not, the board will select someone.
Torra immediately made a statement rejecting the judges’ move: ‘I am an MP and president, there have been no changes. We will not back down,’ he added.
Sóc diputat i President de Catalunya. No ha canviat res. No ens farem enrere. pic.twitter.com/cOK3cUTYth
— Quim Torra i Pla (@QuimTorraiPla) January 23, 2020
Newly elected Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez declined to comment about the Supreme Court decision whilst visiting areas affected by Storm Gloria. He said it was a day to talk only about the storm.
Ciudadanos (Cs) spokeswoman in Catalonia Lorena Roldán called on Quim Torra to step down. ‘It’s the end of the road,’ she said. Torra should ‘go home and stop embarrassing everyone.’
The right-wing People’s Party (PP) leader Pablo Casado said Torra ‘cannot stay on as Catalan president one more second’ and also urged the Spanish prime minister to cancel the meeting he has scheduled with him in early February.
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