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Secessionist Torra chosen to lead Catalonia in end to power vacuum

The 55-year-old is a fervent nationalist hand-picked by former leader Carles Puigdemont.

Catalan MPs have ended a half-year power vacuum by electing secessionist Quim Torra as the new regional chief.

Mr Torra failed to be elected with an absolute majority in an earlier vote over the weekend.

However, on Monday, the 135-strong Catalan parliament voted 66-to-65 to support Mr Torra, with the four MPs of the far-left anti-establishment CUP party abstaining.

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Mr Torra has been hand-picked by the fugitive leader Carles Puigdemont (AP)

Mr Torra, 55, is a fervent nationalist hand-picked by former leader Carles Puigdemont, who is in Berlin fighting extradition to Spain after being charged with rebellion and misuse of public funds in connection to last year’s Catalan independence bid.

The Spanish government is expected to remove the special controls on the Catalan administration after Mr Torra and his new ministers are sworn in later this week.

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