17:45 GMT +323 September 2018
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    Quim Torra

    New Catalan President Refuses to Swear Allegiance to Spanish King, Constitution

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    MADRID (Sputnik) – Newly elected Catalan President Quim Torra took an oath on Thursday but has not sworn allegiance to Spanish King Felipe VI and the country’s constitution, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

    "[I] will perform as the head of the government, being devoted to the people’s will and elected by the parliament," Torra said in a short speech, in which he has not sworn allegiance to both the Spanish king and the constitution.

    On Monday, the Catalan Parliament elected Torra, a lawmaker from Junts per Catalunya party, as the president of the autonomous region.

    The ceremony was not attended by representatives of the Spanish government.

    READ MORE: New Catalan Leader: Madrid's Direct Rule Over Catalan Gov't Must End — Reports

    Torra calls himself an interim head of the Catalan government, the Generalitat since he believes that former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who is facing possible extradition to Spain where he is wanted on rebellion charges, remains the true head of the cabinet.

    On October 1, Catalonia held an independence referendum, which was not recognized by the central authorities. The results showed that the majority of Catalans supported secession, and the regional parliament unilaterally announced independence later in October. In response, Madrid imposed direct rule over the autonomous region, dissolved the Catalan parliament and called a snap election. Several pro-independence leaders were jailed, while others fled the country.

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