Ousted president requests sentence be suspended by Constitutional Court

Upcoming Catalan election set to take place on February 7 as second-in-command Aragonès will be interim chief with "limited functions"

Ousted president Quim Torra giving his farewell speech on September 28, 2020, with vice president Pere Aragonès (by Mariona Puig)
Ousted president Quim Torra giving his farewell speech on September 28, 2020, with vice president Pere Aragonès (by Mariona Puig) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 29, 2020 11:51 AM

The ousted Catalan president, Quim Torra, appealed his disobedience sentence before Spain's Constitutional Court on Tuesday morning.

His lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, explained in an interview with Rac1 radio station that they have requested that Torra's disqualification be provisionally suspended while a final decision is made.

According to him, Spain's top judges have always accepted to suspend bans for politicians in office until now.

The Constitutional Court, Boye said, can only either consider the appeal and suspend Torra's ousting, or dismiss it, which would prompt him to take the case to the European judiciary as the official convicted for disobedience announced he would do on Monday.

'Any extraordinary decision' to be agreed on by both government partners

The two Catalan government partners, Torra's Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra Republicana, seem to assume that this request will be suspended, and given that the Supreme Court decision must be enforced in the meantime, they have already agreed on what the interim period will look like.

JxCat and ERC have agreed that Vice President Pere Aragonès will take over as chief with "limited presidential functions" during the interim period.

While these functions have not been specified, the ERC politician cannot call an early election, sack ministers, or put forward a budget.

The two-page agreement document states that both political forces will create a coordination group to ensure "extraordinary decisions" are made by consensus.

Both parties affirm their commitment to continue fighting against the pandemic and its impacts, "as well as the defense of the rights and freedoms of citizens."

The paper makes clear that Torra will be "available" for anything the government needs, but will not play a role or retain symbolic post – the CUP proposal that the ousted president should keep part of his duties has been rejected.

Election likely on February 7

The document specifies no election date, as this is up to the parliament speaker, and how long he takes to declare that no alternative president to Torra is possible.

Yet, ERC's parliamentary group president, Sergi Sabrià, said that the election is likely to take place on February 7, 2021, given the established parliamentary procedures' timings.