Catalonia’s parliament suspended a vote to name a new president because the separatist candidate is in jail, extending the political limbo in a region divided by a campaign to split from Spain.
Speaker Roger Torrent said he wouldn’t hold the vote on Jordi Turull’s bid because he was jailed on Friday by a judge investigating his role in an attempt to declare independence last October. “I won’t rest until you are all at home,” Torrent said in reference to pro-secession politicians who have either been jailed or have fled Spain after judges began their probe of the secession campaign.
Separatist parties won a slim majority in Catalonia’s parliament in December elections after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sacked the previous regional administration, led by Carles Puigdemont, over the attempt to declare independence. The failure to hold a vote brings the prospect of new elections closer as a separatist movement riven by its own internal divisions struggles to find a candidate to be regional president.
Turull had failed in a first bid to become president in a vote on Thursday when he was unable to persuade the radical pro-separatist party CUP to back his candidacy.
Puigdemont, who is in Finland, won’t be arrested while visiting the country, Interior Minister Kai Mykkanen told Finnish media outlet Verkkouutiset. A Spanish supreme court judge on Friday reactivated an arrest warrant for Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium in October and has been visiting European cities to highlight the independence campaign.