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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - BARCELONA —Catalan separatist president Quim Torra said Saturday he would ask Spain's Supreme Court to strike down a decision by the electoral board to disqualify him as a lawmaker, thereby making him illegible to be Catalonia's leader.
The electoral board announced its decision Friday after Catalonia's High Court of Justice last month convicted Torra of disobedience for failing to remove separatist symbols from public buildings during an election campaign and banned him from holding public office for 18 months.
Catalonia's autonomy statute specifies that the head of the region's government must be a lawmaker in the regional assembly and Torra has appealed against the High Court ruling to the Supreme Court.
However, the electoral board went ahead pronouncing in favor of right-wing parties seeking Torra's disqualification as an MP, even though the Supreme Court has yet to decide on Torra's initial appeal.
Torra, who denounced the move as a "coup", said Saturday he would immediately present a petition to the Supreme Court seeking "the protection of fundamental rights" and suspension of the electoral board decision.
He insists that the only institution which can decide on his position as regional president is the Catalan parliament where the separatists are in a majority.
The election board ruling came as Spain's acting Prime Minister, Socialist Pedro Sanchez, faces a confidence vote in the national parliament next week following an inconclusive November election.
Sanchez is counting on the abstention of 13 Catalan ERC separatist lawmakers in order to take office for a second term.
The ERC is allied with Torra in the Catalan parliament. — AFP
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