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Parliament plenary session suspended after tension following Torra’s MP status

Unionist Ciutadans chanted ‘delinquent’ at Torra prompting the parliament speaker to halt proceedings

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27 January 2020 06:12 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The plenary session in the Catalan parliament was briefly brought to an unexpected halt earlier on Monday when speaker Torrent suspended proceedings due to Ciutadans members ignoring his orders for calm, chanting ‘delinquent’ at Quim Torra

Lorena Roldán, leader of the right-wing Ciutadans party, was criticizing the chamber’s decision to allow the Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) figurehead the opportunity to speak after they had accepted to withdraw his parliamentary seat. 

However as Torra still holds the position of president of Catalonia, he was still able to participate in debates. "A person convicted of a criminal offense outlined in the criminal code is a delinquent," Roldán said in the chamber. 

Speaker Roger Torrent then brought the opposition leader to order, only for her party to rise from their seats and begin loudly clapping and chanting “delinquent” before the session was suspended. 

In statements to the media immediately following the incident, Roldán threatened to take Torrent to the Constitutional Court for “trampling” on her and her party’s rights as opposition MPs.

Opposition call for elections 

The head of the Catalan Socialists, Miquel Iceta, said that the legislature of Quim Torra was "finished" and that the division between JxCat and ERC "prevented them from governing." 

In a speech during the plenary session, Iceta called on Quim Torra to evaluate whether it is worthwhile to appeal to the "popular will" and call elections

The socialist affirmed that Torra has lost the status of MP for disobedience, however he acknowledged that he is holding the post of President of Catalonia

Alejandro Fernández of the People's Party lamented the "show of political cannibalism" that he sees between JxCat and ERC after the disqualification of Torra. Fernández also called out JxCat and ERC for fighting for "nothing more than power."

Fernández did not comment on Torra's speech or his disqualification, but took the opportunity to urge Catalan society to "trust the politics of truth again." "Not everything is lost in Catalonia, I'm sure, and we will fight to regain peace, normality and democracy in Catalonia," he added.

Calls for Torra to step aside with "dignity"

The figurehead of Catalunya En Comú-Podem, the only party not alligned in the question of Catalan independence, urged Torra to step aside with "dignity" by passing the budget and calling elections. 

Jéssica Albiach urged Torra to not act "ridiculously" with "symbolic disobediences" and focus on passing the first budget Catalonia would see since 2017. 

"And once [the budget] is approved, call elections because the decomposition of the Government cannot go on," Albiach said.

The left-wing politician also claimed that there is a sector of JxCat that wants to "sabotage" the already agreed 2020 government budget, pointing out that they include tax measures that JxCat has "reluctantly" accepted, she said.

Protests

After the session, around 50 of the of protesters rallying outside parliament headed to the center of Barcelona, setting fire to some trash and recycling containers.

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