Catalan Socialist Meritxell Batet, selected as chamber head again
Lawmaker gets second mandate as third most important authority in Spain after being speaker in failed term
The head of the Catalan Socialists in Madrid, Meritxell Batet, has been made speaker of Spain's congress once again.
During the Spanish parliament's opening session on Tuesday, congressional lawmakers elected her in the second round of votes after falling short of obtaining an absolute majority in the first one.
Batet, the Socialists' frontrunner in Barcelona for the November 10 election, was already congress speaker during the past term – but only for few months since lawmakers were unable to pick a new Spanish president, leading the country to a snap election.
The Catalan MP prevailed with 166 votes in favor (an absolute majority is at 176), ahead of the People's Party's Ana Pastor with 140. There were 29 not valid votes and 11 were blank.
The congress speaker (also known as congress president) is the third-highest office in Spain following those of the monarch and the president of the government, serving as both the chair and leader of the legislature.
In the senate, Madrid-born Socialist MP and judge specializing in sexist violence Pilar Llop was elected speaker. She replaces Catalan Socialist Manuel Cruz, who will remain as a senator but no longer be the head of the upper chamber after a brief stint during the failed 2019 term.