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Quim Torra's swearing-in session: what to expect

JxCat presidential candidate to make speech before other parties respond and vote is called

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12 May 2018 11:57 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The plenary session of the Catalan parliament is meeting today at noon for a new investiture debate. The Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) MP Quim Torra will try to win the confidence of the majority of the chamber in order gain enough votes to be elected as president. As this highly-anticipated day gets underway, the atmosphere is electric in the parliament corridors. But what should we expect to happen? 

Quim Torra will make his speech shortly after midday. He is expected to explain his governmental plan. In an interview on Friday, he said that he will appeal for dialogue, stating that his initiatives will include asking for a meeting with Spanish president Mariano Rajoy as well as the president of the  European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. Amongst his proposed plans, there could also be the creation of a commission to investigate the effects of Spanish rule over Catalonia after the application of Article 155 which effectively stripped the country of its self-rule. There is no time limit for Torra's speech. Usually, presidential candidates' speeches last about an hour during their investiture debates.  

A cause for pause

After Torra's speech, the speaker will call for a break. Afterwards, the floor opens to the rest of the chamber. In the afternoon, every parliamentary group leader will get the chance to react. The seven parliamentary groups get thirty minutes each to have their say, until it's Torra's turn once again. After he responds to whatever issues may arise in this crucial debate, the other group leaders gave their final say.  Once everyone has reacted, the Parliament Speaker Roger Torrent calls for the vote. 

To be invested as president, Quim Torra needs an overall majority of 68 votes in the first round. Failing that, as is expected, a second vote will be called for Monday. Then, he will only need a simple majority to be elected as Catalan president. 

Torra will have the affirmative votes of his parliamentary group, JxCat, and of Esquerra Republicana (ERC), the second biggest pro-independence party in Parliament. The main group, Ciutadans, as well as the Catalan socialists (PSC), the MPs of Catalunya En Comú-Podem, and the People's Party (PP) will vote against him. The far-left CUP is expected to abstain, as they have always maintained they will only except the deposed president Carles Puigdemont as candidate. However, the anti-capitalists are holding a group meeting on Sunday to decide how to cast their final vote. They're strongly pro-independence but they would want the new government to disobey Spain and build a Catalan Republic. If, on Monday, they vote 'no', Torra won't be able to become president.

 

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  • The Catalan Parliament, empty before the investiture debate (by Núria Julià)

  • The Catalan Parliament, empty before the investiture debate (by Núria Julià)