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Parliament condemns Spanish 'repression' against last three Catalan presidents

Chamber rejects calling early election immediately in annual general policies debate

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18 September 2020 01:11 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan parliament has condemned the disobedience case against the Catalan president, Quim Torra, calling it an "indignity" and "disproportionate."

In a motion passed by the majority of lawmakers as an outcome of the annual general policies debate, the chamber stated that the facts for which the leader is convicted pending a Supreme Court review that can see him ousted from power "are not a crime."

He was sentenced to a barring from public office for one-and-a-half years in December 2019 for failing to remove signs in favor of the jailed pro-independence leaders of public buildings on time during an election campaign in spring 2019 – yet, the decision was not final and Torra's defense faced a hearing to review the case on Thursday in the Supreme Court, which will rule in a few weeks.

The motion read that the chamber supports Torra "for having defended Catalonia's institutions, the freedom of speech, the freedom for the jailed and exiled pro-independence leaders and the right of self-determination."

The majority of MPs also denounced the "constant repression" suffered by the last three presidents: Artur Mas, disqualified for a year and a month for organizing the unofficial independence vote in 2014; Carles Puigdemont, indicted for the 2017 referendum and facing an extradition request frozen due to his MEP status; and Quim Torra himself, who might be disqualified and ousted for not removing pro-independence banners in public buildings.

Yet, the parliament rejected the attempts of the opposition to pass motions requesting Torra an immediate early election to avoid an interim period of at least four months if he is barred from office before an automatic election is called. 

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  • Catalan president Quim Torra enters the Parliament to a round of applause by his colleagues (by Gerard Artigas)

  • Catalan president Quim Torra enters the Parliament to a round of applause by his colleagues (by Gerard Artigas)

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