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Catalan secessionists unable to elect regional head for a 3rd time

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Catalan secessionists unable to elect regional head for a 3rd time

Catalan secessionist parties were unable to elect a regional president for the third time as Jordi Turull could not muster enough votes, Reuters reported March 23.

Turull, an ally of former President Carles Puigdemont, needed 69 votes to be elected but obtained only 64.

Turull could still be elected in a second vote March 24 that requires only a simple majority, but that may not happen.

He and other secessionist leaders are due to appear before the Supreme Court on March 23 for a new phase in the investigation before trial. Turull was charged with rebellion and sedition after his involvement in the independence push in October and faces the prospect of a trial.

The judge could declare him ineligible or send him back to jail if there is enough evidence against him.

If Turull is not elected in a second vote or that vote does not take place, parties would have to elect another candidate within two months or hold another election, possibly in July.

Puigdemont, who is in exile in Brussels, and Jordi Sanchez, a leader of a grassroots group who is in jail over his role in the illegal campaign to split from Spain, have withdrawn their bids for the presidency because they could not attend a swearing-in session.