Amid waning support, acting President of Catalonia, Artur Mas says he will step down as the Spanish region’s pro-independence leader.
I want to make it clear that personally, this is a very painful decision.
Pro-secession parties gained the majority in the regional bloc in September’s election.
However, disagreements among them mean Catalonia has since failed to form a government.
Mas announced his nomination for the leadership shortly after announcing he would resign:
“I want to make it clear that personally, this is a very painful decision. But I feel calm. My candidate to become the next regional president is the Mayor of Girona and president of the association of pro-independence Catalan town mayors, Carles Puigdemont,” he said.
The parliament is to vote on Mas’ successor on Sunday (January 10).
The majority Junts pel Si coalition and CUP party had until Saturday (January 9) to agree on a potential future President of Catalonia. They, too, have nominated Puigdemont.
The CUP in particular refused to back Mas as leader for another term. There is a deep political rift between the two over membership of the likes of NATO and the European Union, should Catalonia gain independence from Spain.
If the majority parties had been undecided on Mas’ successor, the regional parliament would have been dissolved and snap elections called.