MADRID — The Latest on Catalonia’s bid to secede from Spain(all times local):
The separatist majority in Catalonia’s parliament has failed to elect a regional president, starting a two-month countdown that could end with another regional election in the restive corner of Spain.
Candidate Jordi Turull fell short of the absolute majority needed to become the next Catalan president due to a division within the three parties who seek independence for the northeastern region.
An abstention from Thursday’s vote by the anti-capitalist CUP party left Turull with 64 votes when he needed 68.
The regional parliament now has two months to pick a president and form a government before a new election is re triggered.
Parliament rules say Turull could have a second chance to be elected on Saturday.
But the former minister in the previous government faces a court date on Friday that could end with his indictment on rebellion charges and preventative jail.
Catalan presidential hopeful Jordi Turull says he wants to foster dialogue with Spain’s central authorities if he’s elected as the regional president. He didn’t specify what the dialogue would entail.
In a speech to fellow lawmakers, the pro-independence ex-minister outlined some of the social, economic and other measures he would implement if elected on Thursday.
There was no mention of “independence” or “republic” in the hour-long speech.
Turull is the third candidate proposed by parties that support Catalan independence. His bid appears because lawmakers of the anti-capitalist CUP party want a president who vows to realize the region’s secession.
He is also facing a possible indictment on rebellion and other charges.
He told the Catalan parliament: “I prefer to accept the risk of being a victim of injustice than to back away from what is happening.”
Catalonia’s parliament is holding a session to elect as the Spanish region’s next president a former separatist minister who could be indicted on rebellion charges as early as Friday.
Jordi Turull is among the former Catalan officials facing possible rebellion charges over the regional assembly’s failed attempt last year to break away from Spain.
A Supreme Court judge overseeing the investigation plans to issue indictments Friday. That could lead to Turull being imprisoned and, at a later stage, possibly banned from public office.
Turull also appears to lack the support he needs to be elected as Catalonia’s next president on Thursday. The radical-left separatist CUP party says its representatives won’t vote for Turull, leaving him short of an absolute majority in the regional chamber.
If Turull is not jailed by a judge on Friday, parliament rules would give him a second chance to be elected as the northeastern region’s leader on Saturday.
Spain’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to release two Catalan independence leaders from pre-trial detention while a judge investigates Catalonia’s illegal attempt to secede from Spain last year.
The top court ruled that there is still risk for Joaquim Forn, the ousted Catalan Interior Minister, and Jordi Sanchez, the former president of the pro-independence civil rights group ANC, to repeat the offenses that landed them in jail.
Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena is set to issue indictments for Forn and other separatist politicians on Friday, in a probe looking into possible rebellion, sedition and embezzlement charges.
Llarena is investigating Sanchez in connection with the turbulent events last fall, and particularly whether the activist should be held accountable for allegedly orchestrating protests that hindered officials trying to stop a banned independence referendum.
Spain’s government has rejected a plan by separatists in Catalonia’s regional parliament to elect prominent secessionist politician Jordi Turull as Catalan president.
The secretary of state for territorial administration, Roberto Bermudez de Castro, says Thursday’s vote in Barcelona is just another ploy in the region’s frustrated attempt to gain independence.
He told the Spanish Senate the government will oppose the election of any candidate who faces legal proceedings. Turull is among ex-officials facing possible rebellion charges over the regional parliament’s failed attempt last year to break away from Spain.
A Supreme Court judge overseeing the rebellion investigation plans to issue indictments Friday.
Turull is the third candidate proposed by pro-independence lawmakers since a December election. The central government is running Catalonia from Madrid.