Madrid blocks second Puigdemont comeback bid in Catalonia

Former Catalan leader proposes candidate for regional government

Separatist allies announced on Saturday they would try to have Puigdemont, now in Germany after being detained there in March on a European arrest warrant, re-appointed as president by next week after the regional parliament voted through reforms allowing him to take the role without being present.

Catalonia has been in political limbo since Spain's central government sacked Puigdemont and his cabinet and imposed direct rule on the semi-autonomous region after it unilaterally declared independence on October 27.

Led by Mr Puigdemont's party, the pro-independence groupings won a narrow majority in the regional parliament.

Torra, a pro-independence activist with little previous political experience who has published books on the history of Catalonia, must win an absolute majority in Saturday's vote to be elected leader.

Speaking in Berlin, former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on Thursday announced his decision to renounce leadership of the region's legislature.

The 55-year-old, a fervent secessionist, will have another chance during a second round on Monday, when only a simple majority of more "yes" than "no" votes is required. If he is elected to office, he must form a regional government with the intention of leading Catalonia's independence movement.

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There he specialised in reviving texts by Catalan journalists from the civil war and Francisco Franco's dictatorship, which severely repressed Catalonia among other regions.

He promised to restore Catalonia's laws suspended by Spanish courts and start drafting a constitution for a future Catalan Republic, stressing that he would "not give up anything" and would "assume responsibility for what comes from our actions".

The Spanish government said Mr Torra's speech was "confrontational".

They've till Might 22 to type a brand new authorities or new elections can be triggered.

A German court last month dismissed the extradition request for Puigdemont on the rebellion allegations and released him on bail.

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