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Separatist set to be voted in as new chief of Catalonia region

Quim Torra has stated that he will keep working towards a Catalan republic independent from Spain.

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Separatist lawmaker Quim Torra sits on his parliamentary seat in Barcelona (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

Separatist lawmaker Quim Torra sits on his parliamentary seat in Barcelona (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

Separatist lawmaker Quim Torra sits on his parliamentary seat in Barcelona (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

Catalonia’s lawmakers are meeting to end more than six months of leadership vacuum by voting in a fervent separatist as the new chief of the restive region, setting the scene for a new confrontation with Spain.

Quim Torra, the former leader of a pro-independence civil society group, has vowed to continue working toward an independent Catalan republic.

He is regarded as a close ally of his predecessor in Catalonia’s top job, ousted president Carles Puigdemont, who is fighting extradition to Spain from Germany.

Mr Torra failed to achieve an absolute majority in a first parliamentary vote on Saturday but he is expected to be elected on Monday by simple majority after an anti-capitalist separatist party announced it would abstain.

Central authorities have been ruling Catalonia directly from Madrid since an attempt to declare unilateral independence from Spain in late October.

PA