- Title: Spain electoral committee bans Catalan leader Torra from public office
- Date: 3rd January 2020
- Summary: BARCELONA, SPAIN (FILE - MAY 14, 2018) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF TORRA POSING WITH MEMBERS OF HIS PARTY HOLDING CUT-OUT YELLOW RIBBONS INSIDE PARLIAMENT AFTER BEING ELECTED
- Embargoed: 17th January 2020 17:52
- Keywords: Catalonia Quim Torra Spain catalan leader independence separatism
- Location: BARCELONA, SPAIN
- City: BARCELONA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA004BUMCUO7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Spain's electoral committee on Friday (January 3) banned Catalan regional leader Quim Torra from holding public office for 18 months over his refusal to remove separatist symbols from government buildings.
According to a statement by the Catalan government, the ban refers to Torra's position as a lawmaker in the region's parliament but not his role as head of the regional government.
To be elected as head of government Catalan law requires a candidate to be a lawmaker in the regional chamber. However, once elected, losing the position of lawmaker does not necessarily imply being stripped of the title of head of the regional government, the Catalan government said.
Catalonia's highest court had already convicted Torra of disobedience, se a decision which he pledged to appeal.
Torra's lawyer was not immediately available for comment and it is unclear if he can appeal the Electoral Commission's ruling.
The decision comes at an extremely sensitive time for Spanish politics, a day ahead of a parliamentary confirmation vote where Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez will rely on the abstention of Catalan separatists Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) to confirm him as Prime Minister.
ERC, which governs Catalonia as part of a coalition with Torra's Junts per Catalunya party called an emergency meeting for Saturday morning to determine what effect the ruling could have on the electoral calendar.
Pro-independence Catalan National Assembly civic group has called on people to protest against the Electoral Committees ruling in front of the Generalitat, the regional government headquarters, at 1900 GMT.
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