Headless Cataluña stuck in gridlock

Investiture postponed as regional president candidate remains in jail

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An estimated 45,000 people protested on Sunday to demand that independence leaders reach an agreement to constitute a government (Photo: EFE)

THE speaker of Cataluña’s regional parliament was forced to postpone the investiture of a new leader planned for last Monday after Spain’s Supreme Court refused to let the nominee leave prison to attend the ceremony. Jordi Sànchez is one of those being held in custody as enquiries continue into the illegal independence referendum staged in the region on October 1.

Sànchez was nominated as the preferred successor by former president Puigdemont who remains in Belgium and has withdrawn his candidature, but prime minister Mariano Rajoy maintains that any candidate for the presidency must not be in jail and must not have outstanding problems with the law. In the Supreme Court’s ruling last Friday, a “risk of repeated offence” was cited as a reason for Sànchez’s continued incarceration.

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