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Quim Torra takes oath as Catalan president

Torra promises loyalty to the will of the Catalan people as represented by Parliament

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17 May 2018 11:45 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Quim Torra is officially the new Catalan president. He took the oath of office on Thursday at 11.30am in a discreet ceremony without guests that took barely two minutes. Following the example of his predecessor, Carles Puigdemont, Torra promised “loyalty to the will of the Catalan people as represented by Parliament.” His oath made no mention of the Spanish Constitution nor the king, as dictated by royal decree and protocol.

The Spanish government was not represented at the inauguration ceremony. Madrid says that the Catalan administration had tried to “impose” which rank of official should attend the event, terms it does not accept. In a statement before the inauguration, Mariano Rajoy’s executive claimed that the event as planned by the Catalan officials would “degrade the institution’s dignity.” The room where the inauguration took place included a Catalan flag, but no portrait of Spain’s king or a Spanish flag, as ordered by Madrid.

Puigdemont’s precedent

The event on Thursday was very different to previous ones. On January 12, 2016, Carles Puigdemont took his oath in front of 400 guests, amid traditional solemnity and pomp. His predecessor, Artur Mas, played a key role in Puigdemont’s inauguration, regaling him with a medallion passed down since Catalonia recovered self-government in the 1930s. Yet this time, Torra’s predecessor could not be present, as he is in Germany pending a decision on his extradition case. One of the only things repeated from Puigdemont’s oath-taking was the oath itself, which skipped references to the Constitution and the king.

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  • President Quim Torra (left) during his inauguration with the Catalan Parliament speaker on May 17, 2018 (by Marc Rovira)

  • President Quim Torra (left) during his inauguration with the Catalan Parliament speaker on May 17, 2018 (by Marc Rovira)