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Ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont proposes candidate to head regional government

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Ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont proposes candidate to head regional government

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REUTERS
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Exiled former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has nominated a lawyer and journalist to lead the regional government.

Puigedemont, who is currently in Germany, named Quim Torra as his potential successor in a video posted to his Youtube channel on Thursday.

Torra has been active in pro-independence lobbies in the wealthy region.

REUTERS
Quim Torra REUTERS

Catalan lawmakers must pick a leader to form a government by May 22 to avert more elections.

Torra will need to be confirmed in a vote of confidence in parliament.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium last year after being sacked as regional leader by Spain. The former president, who served Catalan from January 2016 until October, defied Madrid by holding an independence referendum deemed illegal by the government.

The 55-year-old is now in Berlin waiting for German courts to rule on a Spanish request to extradite him on rebellion and embezzlement charges. If convicted in Spain, he faces up to 30 years behind bars.