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Two-month deadline to pick a president not started yet, say Parliament lawyers

The legal team states that it's necessary to wait for Spanish Constitutional Court’s decision on Puigdemont’s bid to hold the debate to pick a president

 

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09 February 2018 03:45 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The two-month deadline to pick a new Catalan president has not started yet. That’s what the Catalan Parliament lawyers stated in a report issued on Friday. According to the Parliament lawyers, the deadlines are “frozen,” at least until the Spanish Constitutional Court makes a decision on the legality of Puigdemont’s bid for president.

Once the court makes their pronouncement, it will then be up to the Catalan Parliament president, Roger Torrent, to decide whether to call the debate to swear in a new Catalan president or not. If the situation stays deadlocked for a long time, the parliamentary groups could force this two-month period to start. The Parliament lawyers have already brought the report to both the Parliament president and the Parliament bureau. Despite the report being non-binding, Torrent intends to take the Parliament legal team’s opinion into account when making a decision.   

Parliament president postponed the debate to pick a president

The Parliament president postponed the debate to pick a president on January 30, hours before the session was due to start. Torrent said that it will be held only when there are "guarantees" that it will be "effective". In an unusual decision, the Spanish Constitutional Court decided to set precautionary measures for Puigdemont’s candidacy, on January 27. 

A first vote would suppose the start of the two-month deadline to pick a president. But since the first vote was not held, the Parliament legal team stressed that the deadlines are “frozen.” What’s more, they noted that the postponement of the debate to swear in a new Catalan president is not the result of Torrent’s “deliberate choice,” but the consequence of “a decision made by an external body.” The report referred to the fact that it is now up to the Spanish Constitutional Court to make a decision on Puigdemont’s bid, following an appeal filed by the Spanish government. The Spanish magistrates have yet to decide whether to accept the appeal filed by Rajoy's executive.

The report by the Catalan Parliament lawyers additionally states that the decision of the Spanish Constitutional Court might affect the “viability of the candidature from a legal point of view,” and that it is necessary to wait for the court’s decision to find out what effect it might have on the proceedings.

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  • Catalan Parliament president, Roger Torrent (by Rafa Garrido)

  • Catalan Parliament president, Roger Torrent (by Rafa Garrido)