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Catalan secessionists poised to elect new regional leader in second vote

Catalan secessionists poised to elect new regional leader in second voteA small Catalan separatist party said on Sunday it would abstain in a second vote to elect a regional leader paving the way for pro-independence candidate Quim Torra to secure a majority and form a government.

Torra, a close ally of former leader Carles Puigdemont, failed to win sufficient votes to become leader on Saturday

But if the far-left CUP party´s four parliamentarians abstain in the vote on Monday, he is expected to secure the simple majority needed to become leader, ending a political impasse that has lasted for months.

In his address to the regional parliament on Saturday, Torra said he would work towards the creation of a Catalan republic and respect the outcome of last year´s vote on secession, which was deemed illegal by Madrid.

Catalonia has been without an administration since December despite pro-independence parties winning most seats in a December election called by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after Puigdemont´s secession attempt. 

Reuters

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