Home / World / The Spanish court confirms the ban on the Catalan leader Quim Torra

The Spanish court confirms the ban on the Catalan leader Quim Torra



MADRID – The Supreme Court of Spain on Monday upheld a ruling that excludes the public offices of the separatist leader of Catalonia, a decision that could renew tensions in the restless north-eastern region.

Catalan police forces had alerted officers to possible protests before the decision, which confirmed a December ruling against separatist leader Quim Torra, president of the regional government of Catalonia. .

The verdict on Monday threw Catalan politics into turmoil again. Mr. Torra should be replaced in office by his deputy, Pere Aragonès, representing a different separatist party. Mr. Torra intended to hold early elections to support the separatist movement this year, but that plan was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic which hit Spain particularly hard.

The case of Mr. Torra is part of a long series of clashes pitting the Spanish central government and its judiciary against Catalan leaders who favor independence. Politicians have failed for years to resolve the secessionist stalemate, which has increasingly been left to the judges to manage, while continuing to divide Catalan society in half.

On Monday evening, Mr Torra said Catalonia will hold elections “in the coming months” and called on his supporters to turn the vote into an independence plebiscite. The Spanish government has urged the region to hold another election as soon as possible, to avoid a period of political limbo in Catalonia under an interim administration.

Mr. Torra also indicated that he would appeal the decision of the highest Spanish court to the European Court of Justice. A European court, Torra said, “is the only place where Catalan independence activists, as well as the just and legitimate cause for independence, can find justice”.

The case against Mr. Torra centers on his refusal last year to remove yellow ribbons and other signs of solidarity with the separatist movement, despite an order from the Electoral Commission in Madrid. The commission had ordered that all partisan symbols be removed from public buildings during the political campaign that led to the Spanish elections in April 2019.

The tapes had become a way to show support separatist leaders, subsequently convicted in 2019 for unsuccessfully attempting to declare independence two years earlier.

Mr. Torra has repeatedly challenged the order to withdraw the separatist symbols, and a Barcelona court ruled in December that his refusal to delete them amounted to civil disobedience. It prevented him from holding the post for 18 months, prompting Mr. Torra to appeal to the Supreme Court.


Source link