Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Spain again left Catalonia without its leader

Spain’s Supreme court has again stripped Catalonia of its leader — Kim Torra has been banned from public office for 18 months. This is reported by El Pais.

It is noted that Torra should leave the post of head of the autonomy because of the case of disobedience to the CEC of Spain. The Supreme court confirmed the decision of the lower court, while the Catalan leader has the right to challenge the decision in the constitutional court. It is reported that the removal of the head may provoke new protests in the region. The duties of the head of the region are temporarily transferred to the Deputy head of the government of Catalonia, Pere Aragones.

The decision on Torre was made after separatist symbols were hung on government buildings in Barcelona before the General election in the spring of 2019. Torra refused to remove it for some time, even despite the decision of the Central election Commission.

Torra has been in office since 2018, replacing Carles Puigdemont, for whom Spain issued an international and European arrest warrant after the independence referendum. In January 2020, a court in Belgium dismissed Puigdemont’s extradition case because of his status as an MEP.

The Catalan independence referendum was held on 1 October 2017. At that time, more than 90 percent of those who voted supported the region’s secession from Spain. After that, Puigdemont signed the Declaration of independence of Catalonia and called on all countries of the world to recognize it as a sovereign state. The Central government tried to prevent the holding of the referendum, including using force. As a result of the riots, 893 people were injured. Madrid did not recognize the outcome of this will.

Later, the Supreme court of Spain found the organizers of the referendum on independence of the autonomy guilty of rebellion and sentenced them to long prison terms.