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ERC leader calls on president to set date for snap election before being disqualified

Quim Torra awaits a Supreme Court decision that could see him barred from office, possibly prompting a new vote in Catalonia

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07 May 2020 11:28 AM

by

ACN|Barcelona

The leader of pro-independence Esquerra Republicana (ERC), Oriol Junqueras, called on Catalan president Quim Torra to set a date for a snap election in Catalonia before being disqualified.

ERC is in government with Torra's party, Junts per Catalunya. Its party president, Junqueras, is one of the nine pro-independence leaders that are behind bars for their role in the 2017 referendum.

In an interview with Ràdio 4 station, Junqueras said that now is the time to save lives, but added that Torra should put an end to his term before the legal system forces him to do so.

Junqueras also said that once the health emergency is over, it will be time for social reconstruction at which point an election would be convenient.

"People are losing their lives"

One of the Junts per Catalunya ministers, Miquel Buch, retorted by claiming that it is not time to consider a vote because "there are people who are losing their lives."

"If anyone thinks the concern right now is who wins the election, they are wrong," the Catalan home affairs minister added.

Torra, pending an appeal

Catalan president Quim Torra was disqualified from public office by the Catalan high court in December 2019 for failing to remove signs in favor of the jailed independence leaders from public buildings during an election campaign.

Yet, this ruling is pending an appeal before the Supreme Court. If Spain's top magistrates do not overrule the sentence, he will automatically be ousted from power.

In this event, the parliament speaker will have to appoint a new candidate for president within ten days. If the bid is not successful, lawmakers will have two months to find consensus before an immediate election is called.

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  • From left to right, Catalan president Quim Torra, ERC head Oriol Junqueras, and parliament speaker Roger Torrent (by Mariona Puig)

  • From left to right, Catalan president Quim Torra, ERC head Oriol Junqueras, and parliament speaker Roger Torrent (by Mariona Puig)

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