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The leader of the Socialist Party in Catalonia to become speaker of Spanish Senate

Miquel Iceta will take over People’s Party’s Pío García-Escudero’s post in Spain’s upper house

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08 May 2019 03:00 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

Socialist leader Miquel Iceta is poised to become the new speaker of the Spanish Senate upon Spain’s acting President Perdo Sánchez’s proposal.

This is set to be formalized on 21 May when Spain’s Parliament will officially establish the new parliamentary post holders.

Most of Spain’s senators are appointed both via popular vote, but some are also chosen by the parliaments of each of the autonomous communities.

Since Iceta did not run for senator in Spain’s April 28th elections, he will have to take over the Catalan Parliament-designated post once former President José Montilla steps down.

An avowed federalist, Iceta is highly relevant in the Catalan-Spanish conflict for his role as an influential Socialist figure surrounding Pedro Sánchez when it comes to Catalonia. As such, some interpret Sanchez’s choice of speaker as a means to encourage a rapprochement between Catalonia and Spain following the 2017 independence referendum fallout.

Spain’s Senate was key for the approval of the Spanish Constitution’s Article 155 imposing direct rule in Catalonia in late October 2017. At the time, the People’s Party had a majority in the Senate, which it lost to the Socialists in the recent April 28 elections.

Although hardline unionist parties have spoken of reapplying Article 155 in Catalonia, this would be considerably more difficult with a Socialist majority given their more conciliatory policies.

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  • Miquel Iceta speaking in Parliament on 8 May (Marta Sierra/ACN)

  • Miquel Iceta speaking in Parliament on 8 May (Marta Sierra/ACN)