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  • Catalonia's regional government president Quim Torra at Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain, Jan. 29, 2020.

    Catalonia's regional government president Quim Torra at Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain, Jan. 29, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 January 2020
Opinion

Differences between "Together for Catalonia" (JxCat) and the Republican Left (ERC) break the two-party ruling coalition.

Catalonia's Regional Government president Quim Torra Wednesday said he planned to call a snap regional election, although he did not indicate the date, pending approval of the regional budgets for this year.

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"Once the budgets are approved in Parliament, I will announce the date of the regional elections," he said in an official announcement.

The Regional executive is currently formed by a coalition of two pro-independence parties: Together for Catalonia (JxCat), which is Torra's formation, and the Republican Left (ERC).

This week, however, there was a divorce between these independentist formations. The ERC refused to stop the withdrawal of Torra's lawmaker credential in the regional parliament, following a court ruling that disqualified him for not respecting the political neutrality of public buildings during an election campaign.

Quim Torra justified his call for early elections arguing that the Catalonian parliament's current composition is no longer viable due to the lack of "loyalty" of the ERC.

"The political course of this legislature has come to an end...It's essential to again give voice to the citizens," he said in.

Taking into account normal parliamentary and electoral procedures, the next election could be held in late May at the earliest.

Torra's term was due to end in 2021 but his future has been uncertain since a court sentenced him in Dec. to an 18-month ban from public office for refusing to remove symbols supporting jailed Catalan activists from government buildings.

In recent years, the independence of Catalonia has become one of Spain's main political problems. The president of the Spanish Government, the socialist Pedro Sanchez, plans to meet with Torra in Barcelona on Feb. 6 in his attempt to find a solution to this issue.

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