Way clear for new Catalan president to be elected Monday

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Madrid successfully requested the Constitutional Court to cancel a reform voted for last week by Catalonia's majority separatist parliament that would allow Puigdemont - now in self-exile overseas - to be appointed president without having to be present.

Catalonia's parliament will vote to approve a new leader of the region on Saturday, in the fifth attempt to form a government since the last administration was sacked by Madrid almost seven months ago for declaring independence. For election as head of the regional government of Catalonia, Torre will be sufficient to support a simple majority of the deputies: that is, the number of votes "for" must exceed the number of those who voted "against", excluding abstentions or not present at the meeting of parliamentarians.

In a widely shared video on social media, Puigdemont suggested Quim Torra for president, signalling a potential end to months-long wrangling over a new regional government.

Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has rejected being re-appointed as leader of the region, following pressure from Spain's government.

What happens next? Regional lawmakers must vote in favor of Torra's candidacy. Torra is a pro-independence lawmaker.

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The Spanish legal system has charged Puigdemont and other separatist leaders with a range of offenses over their roles in the independence push.

Regional elections were held in December, which separatist parties won, but every leadership candidate picked by the separatist camp since has fallen flat.

Government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said earlier the Catalan parliament would not be able to call a session to appoint Puigdemont "at the risk of committing the offence of disobedience".

Catalonia's pro-independence parties risk an election being automatically triggered if they don't form a government by May 22.

One of the blocked candidates was Puigdemont himself, who is in Berlin waiting for a German court to rule on whether to extradite him to Spain on a charge of misuse of public funds.

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