The early election in Catalonia following the ousting of Quim Torra as president will take place on 14 February if all goes as expected. On Friday, parliament speaker Roger Torrent said in an interview that he plans to adjust the compulsory parliamentary procedures after Torra’s departure so the upcoming vote falls on a Sunday “to avoid closing schools” on a weekday during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Torrent began talks with parliamentary groups on Friday to determine whether any MP can gather the support of the majority of lawmakers to succeed the ousted leader. This is set to fail, as pro-independence parties have already agreed to not put forward an alternative candidate, and it only remains to be seen whether the leading opposition party, unionist Ciudadanos, attempts to obtain the post. In this event, the political group would still not be able to garner majority support and Torrent has suggested that a parliamentary debate on a Cs bid would not be held.
Following Torra’s ousting, Torrent had 10 days excluding weekends to propose a candidate that could get a majority of parliamentary votes to become president. The countdown ends on October 15. Once this period is over, Torrent would have two extra months to find a presidential candidate backed by enough lawmakers, at the end of which elections would automatically be called 54 days later. That would mean the election falling on February 10, a Wednesday, but Torrent has pledged to maneuver so as to ensure that the election will coincide with a weekend to avoid schools being used as polling stations on a weekday.
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