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Socialist presidency bid and reactions to decision to oust Torra – live updates

Esquerra backs deal with Sánchez while Catalan president fights electoral board decision, as controversial extraordinary Catalan parliament session gets underway

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04 January 2020 02:16 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

It's a very intense Saturday, both in Barcelona and Madrid. A three-day plenary session began this morning in Spain's congress to decide on Pedro Sánchez's bid for president – meanwhile, reactions are unfolding in Catalonia to the decision of the electoral board to oust its president, Quim Torra, from office.

In Madrid, Pedro Sánchez pledged to open a bilateral dialogue with the Catalan government if his presidency bid is successful, as agreed with pro-independence Esquerra – the Catalan party confirmed their support this morning despite the decision on Torra. Meanwhile, right-wing parties are accusing him of dealing with "coup mongers," while Socialists' allies, Unidas Podemos, say this term is about "healing the territorial wounds" caused by the right. 

In Barcelona, the head of the Catalan government has requested to the electoral board not to execute its ruling because he will file an urgent appeal in Spain's Supreme Court. This came few hours before an extraordinary Catalan parliament session began this afternoon at 5pm. It was requested by Torra himself, using his presidential powers – and that the main unionist party in the chamber, Ciutadans, says it should be cancelled, arguing that Torra is no longer president. 

"If this chamber does not accept my ousting, I will continue as president. If it does, I won't oppose," said Torra in his opening speech. He also asked how can dialogue be established with Spain if the top leader supposed to attend in the Catalan side is barred from office. 

A motion on Quim Torra is expected to be held later in the evening, but Ciutadans is set to oppose. 

Check all of our updates unfolding in Barcelona and Madrid throughout the day in this feed:

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  • Spanish acting president Pedro Sánchez speaks in the Spanish congress during the debate over his investiture on January 4, 2020 (by Jordi Vidal)

  • Spanish acting president Pedro Sánchez speaks in the Spanish congress during the debate over his investiture on January 4, 2020 (by Jordi Vidal)

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