01:17 GMT +318 November 2018
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    Plenary session of the Catalan Parliament. Its deputies discuss potential measures in response to the Spanish Government's decision to use the 155th Article of the Constitution and actually introduce direct rule of the autonomy from Madrid

    Catalan Parliament Fails to Back Torra for Region's President After 1st Vote

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    MADRID (Sputnik) - The parliament of Catalonia did not support the candidacy of Quim Torra for the president of the autonomous region after the first vote.

    Quim Torra, a lawmaker from Junts per Catalunya party, was backed by 66 lawmakers, 65 were against, while four abstained.

    The candidate was backed by his own party and the Republican Left of Catalonia. However, the parties that object to Catalonia's independence voted against him, while the four representatives of the pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy abstained.

    READ MORE: Catalan Parliament Allows Regional Government Head to Be Elected in Absence

    A new round of voting is scheduled for Monday. To win in the first round, Torra needed an absolute majority, or 68 votes. At Monday's second round, he can win with a simple majority.

    Earlier in May, Catalan lawmakers voted in favor of an amendment that would allow the regional president to be elected without his or her presence in the parliament, in a move that could return former leader Carles Puigdemont, who is in self-imposed exile, to power.

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