Catalonia MPs elect separatist Quim Torra as new regional leader

The Catalan parliament elected hard-line separatist Quim Torra as regional leader on Monday. The move ends seven months of direct rule from Madrid. However, more political uncertainty is expected in a region that retains a mandate to seek a split from Spain. The deeply-divided parliament voted 66 in favor, 65 against, and 4 abstentions for the election of Torra, Reuters reports. The new regional head was handpicked by the exiled former leader, Carles Puigdemont. In a speech to parliament on Saturday, Torra promised to work towards a Catalan republic and referred to Puigdemont as the legitimate leader of the region.