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Catalan parliament will convene on 17 January to decide new government

File image of Junqueras.
File image of Junqueras. / EFE
  • Oriol Junqueras, leader of left-wing ERC, had asked to be let out of jail to enable him to be a possible regional presidential candidate, but his request has been rejected by the Supreme Court

Following the Catalan elections on 21 December, the Spanish government has said that the new regional parliament will be summoned on 17 January to debate who should form the next regional government.

It is still unclear who will be candidate to be new regional president. Pro-union Ciudadanos, the largest party, almost certainly cannot form a majority as the three separatist parties together hold a majority of three seats in the new chamber.

The leader of the biggest secessionist party is still in Belgium, Carles Puigdemont of Junts per C, along with four of the newly voted MPs. They will face arrest if they return for fleeing the country and avoiding detention. Meanwhile, Oriol Junqueras, leader of the second biggest separatist party, ERC, is still in jail outside Madrid while investigations against him continue over the illegal independence vote in October. He asked the Supreme Court this week to be allowed out on bail so he could attend the investiture debate, but his request was turned down unanimously by judges on Friday.

Three other secessionist leaders are still detained as well. Two of these, Jordi Sànchez of campaigners ANC and Joaquim Forn, ex regional interior minister, are also Catalan MPs and their appeal to be let out will be heard on 11 January.