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Catalan president barred from holding office by Spain’s electoral board

Catalan president barred from holding office by Spain’s electoral board
The head of Catalonia’s regional government Quim Torra has been barred from office by Spain’s Central Electoral Board (JEC). The official was earlier found guilty of disobedience after he failed to remove pro-independence signs.

The decision to dismiss Torra from the office was made by the JEC on Friday, with the board annulling an earlier ruling by a local Catalan electoral body, which had said Torra could remain in power until he exhausts all appeal options.

The Catalan leader was found guilty of disobedience by a Spanish court  on December 19, was fined the hefty sum of €33,000 and banned from holding public office for a year. The politician has already vowed to challenge the court’s decision.

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Torra’s ‘disobedience’ dates back to last year’s general election, when he was ordered by Spain’s electoral authority to remove signs and banners in favor of jailed independence leaders by early October, but failed to comply.

Displayed on the building of the Catalan government in Barcelona, for instance, was a message which read ‘Freedom for political prisoners and exiles’ across a yellow ribbon – a symbol used by the pro-independence Catalans to support the incarcerated leaders.

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The JEC ruling was met with anger by pro-independence politicians. Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who fled Spain and is now effectively exiled in Belgium, called the exclusion of Torra an “outrageous and shameful” move.

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