Catalonia’s radical separatists clear way for new leader

Catalonia’s most radical separatists have said they will allow candidate Quim Torra to be elected as the restive Spanish region’s new leader on Monday.

The far-left CUP party decided on Sunday that their four parliament members will abstain during Monday’s investiture session, which should leave Torra with more “yes” than “no” votes.

Torra’s election would bring an end to the Spanish central government’s takeover of regional affairs as part of a crackdown after an illegal declaration of independence by Catalonia’s regional parliament in October.

Separatist parties maintained a slim majority in regional elections in December, but Spanish courts have blocked efforts to elect two separatists in jail awaiting trial and fugitive ex-chief Carles Puigdemont.

They have until May 22 to form a new government or new elections will be triggered.

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