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President faces growing calls for snap election

Quim Torra fights back challenging opposition to place motion of no confidence against him

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03 April 2019 03:46 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan president, Quim Torra, is facing growing calls to dissolve the parliament and call a snap election after two ministers stepped down to run as electoral candidates and the government has been unable to pass the 2019 budget.

On Thursday, the parliament will vote a motion urging Torra to either call a snap election or call a vote of confidence for which if he lost, he would have to step down.

While the president is likely to lose this challenge –partly because five of the pro-independence MPs supporting his executive are suspended and have not been replaced–, such motion is not binding.

Yet ahead of this vote, Torra defied the opposition in the plenary session on Wednesday and asked them to place a motion of no-confidence –unlike the vote of confidence, this is called by opposition parties, who need to propose a candidate for president to oust the one in office.

Socialists ask for ultimate aim of cabinet

The Socialist leader in Catalonia, Miquel Iceta, asked the president "how much time he can continue governing badly."

He also asked him about their ultimate aim in this term. "Is it build a republic? Ending up disobeying? Holding a referendum?"

Pro-independence CUP's role

Pro-independence far-left CUP party backed Torra's bid for president in Parliament, but it stayed in opposition and since then has been stepping up its criticism against the head of government.

"The executive's fragility is public and obvious," said CUP MP Natàlia Sànchez. She condemned Torra's cabinet "for its public policies, the Catalan police's repression, and its paralysis in terms of self-determination."

If CUP votes No to the calls for the president to make a move, Torra will have succeeded. If they abstain or vote Yes, the Parliament will have passed a motion calling for the president to face a vote of confidence or call an election.

This comes as the government presented its two new ministers, Mariàngela Vilallonga and Meritxell Budó.

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