18:50 GMT05 June 2020
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    MADRID (Sputnik) - Hundreds of supporters of former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on Tuesday broke through a police barricade in Barcelona and approached the Catalan parliament building, where a meeting to appoint the Generalitat's chairman was to take place.

    The Catalan parliament was scheduled to convene and appoint the head of the regional government, but the meeting was delayed by Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent, who first wanted to receive a guarantee that Madrid would not interfere. Torrent pledged to appeal the decision of Spanish Constitutional Court, which ruled that Puigdemont may be sworn in as the president of Generalitat only after making an appearance at Catalan parliament in person.

    The protesters, chanting "Puigdemont — our chairman" and wearing masks with Puigdemont's face, pushed past the police and toward the parliament building.

    Puigdemont has been nominated for the position of Generalitat president by his coalition Together for Catalonia (JuntsxCat). Last week, Torrent approved Puigdemont’s candidacy and met with him in Brussels.

    On October 1, Catalonia held a referendum on the region's independence from Spain. The vast majority of voters backed secession. The plebiscite was not, however, recognized by Madrid, which subsequently imposed direct rule over the autonomous region and dismissed its government. Several ministers of the former Catalan government were arrested while Puigdemont managed to leave Spain for Belgium.


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    government, independence, police, protests, Carles Puigdemont, Barcelona, Spain
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