Catalan separatists fail to elect leader of Spanish region

Catalan separatists fail to elect leader of Spanish region

Catalan separatists fail to elect leader of Spanish region

Five people were held in custody, including Catalan presidential candidate Jordi Turull who was due Saturday to seek a second round vote in the regional parliament, after failing to be elected earlier in the week.

Thirteen Catalan separatist leaders face 30 years in jail after being charged with rebellion, an unprecedented legal decision in modern Spain.

The case against Catalan separatists is now led by Judge Llarena from the Supreme Court, but two other courts, one in Madrid and another in Barcelona, are also investigating officials accused of civil disobedience and other offenses, including organizing the independence referendum held last October, even after it was declared illegal by Madrid.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Barcelonia, Vic and Tarragona on Friday evening to protest against the court decision.

Rovira ignored the summons and announced she was taking "the road to exile".

The plan backfired as parties favouring a split with Spain won the vote, though they have been unable to agree on a common strategy or elect a new regional president.

As such, Spanish media have dubbed him the separatists' "plan C".

A judge said the five were serious flight risks. The radical-left separatist CUP party says its representatives won't vote for Turull, leaving him short of an absolute majority in the regional chamber.

In a 70-page ruling, Llarena noted that, from 2012 onwards, the Catalan government had been "drawing up a route map for Catalonia's transition process towards becoming an independent country" and co-ordinating the campaign with Cuixart and Sànchez's influential grassroots groups.

The four have been in pre-trial detention for months.

Catalan separatists fail to elect regional president
Spanish supreme court charges 13 Catalan leaders with rebellion

With numerous leaders overseas or in jail, the separatists have struggled to re-organise or even remain in politics.

As a result, Catalonia remains under direct rule from Madrid, imposed after the declaration.

Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena is set to issue indictments for Forn and other separatist politicians on Friday, in a probe looking into possible rebellion, sedition and embezzlement charges.

Pro-independence political parties and civic groups in Catalonia have defied the Spanish government for the past six months with efforts to secede from Spain and create a new republic.

However, on Friday, Llarena issued fresh orders for European and worldwide arrest warrants for Catalan politicians overseas, including Puigdemont and Rovira.

"Exile will be a hard road, but it is the only way I have to recover my political voice", Ms Rovira said in a letter. "The path of exile".

Rovira, who did not specify where she was headed, is the seventh separatist to flee overseas to escape charges.Separatist parties won regional elections in December called by Madrid after they attempted to secede, retaining their absolute majority in parliament.

The separatist majority in Catalonia's parliament has failed to elect a regional president, starting a two-month countdown that could end with another regional election in the restive corner of Spain.

Four other separatists had already been detained by the Spanish authorities.

The semiautonomous region has been without a leader for almost five months after central authorities took control following an illegal independence declaration.

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