Catalan parliament to vote on Puigdemont successor on Saturday

Former Catalan President renounces leadership from exile

Madrid blocks second Puigdemont comeback bid in Catalonia

Separatist allies said they would try to have Puigdemont back in the role by next week after the regional Parliament voted through reforms allowing him to be re-appointed without being present.

If CUP abstains in the second vote, a simple majority will be enough to see Torra elected as the 131st leader of the region and bring an end to the central Spanish government control which has been in place in Catalonia since October 27, 2017.

Puigdemont met Saturday with members of his Together for Catalonia coalition in Berlin, where he is awaiting extradition to Spain on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds in organizing an unauthorized referendum past year on Catalonia's independence.

Catalonia's parliament will start debating on whether to appoint staunch independence supporter Quim Torra as regional president, after deposed leader Carles Puigdemont stepped aside from the running.

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Former leader Carles Puigdemont, now living in Germany, put forward little-known Catalan member of parliament Quim Torra as the new candidate in a televised address published on social networks late on Thursday.

But Torra has another chance in a second round of voting on Monday - as only a simple majority is needed in the regional parliament. Torra is a pro-independence lawmaker.

"We need a really strong government and a really strong country, Catalonia right now faces a monumental challenge", the 55-year-old father-of-three told Catalan television TV3 on Friday.

Elections were held in December 2017, however no party won an overall majority.

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They also say the rebellion charge against him and others is disproportionate, and describe those already in jail in Spain - like former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras - as "political prisoners".

Puigdemont proposed Torra as candidate in an address released on his YouTube video channel.

"He is the most radical that Puigdemont could find and the only one who voluntarily accepted to be the puppet of Mr. Puigdemont", she told reporters.

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