Torra Government

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Torra Government
Flag of Catalonia.svg
Executive Council of Catalonia
Incumbent
Govern de Catalunya foto oficial 2018.jpg
The government in June 2018
Date formed15 May 2018 (2018-05-15)
People and organisations
Head of governmentQuim Torra
Deputy head of governmentPere Aragonès
No. of ministers13
Member party
Status in legislatureMinority
Opposition partyCitizens
Opposition leaderInés Arrimadas
History
Election(s)2017 regional election
Legislature term(s)XII Legislature (2018–)
PredecessorPuigdemont

The Torra Government is the incumbent regional government of Catalonia led by President Quim Torra. It was formed in May 2018 after the regional election.

History[edit]

On 27 October 2017 the Catalan Parliament declared independence in a vote boycotted by opposition MPs.[1][2] Almost immediately the Senate of Spain invoked article 155 of the constitution, dismissing President Carles Puigdemont and the Catalan government and imposing direct rule on Catalonia.[3][4] The following day Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dissolved the Catalan Parliament and called for fresh regional elections on 21 December 2017.[5][6]

At the election Catalan secessionists retained a slim majority in the Catalan Parliament.[7][8] On 22 January 2018 Catalan Parliament President Roger Torrent officially proposed Puigdemont to be president.[9][10][11] However, on 27 January 2018 the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that Puigdemont, who had been living in exile since 30 October 2017, could not participate in any investiture debate via video conference or by getting another MP to read his speech and that he had to appear in person in parliament after receiving "prior judicial authorisation".[12][13] The ruling effectively blocked the investiture of Puigdemont who faced arrest on charges rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds if he returned to Spain.[14][15] As a result Torrent announced on 30 January that Puigdemont's investiture vote would be postponed though he later insisted that Puigdemont "is and will be" the candidate for president.[16][17][18][19]

As the political impasse continued Puigdemont came under pressure to step aside.[20][21][22] On 1 March 2018 Puigdemont announced that he was withdrawing his candidature in favour of jailed independence activist Jordi Sànchez.[23][24][25] However, on 9 March 2018 Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena refused permission for Sànchez to leave prison in order to attend the investiture debate.[26][27][28] Sànchez ended his candidature on 21 March 2018.[29][30][31]

The secessionists hastily nominated Jordi Turull to be president.[32][33] Turull was due to appear before the Supreme Court on 23 March 2018 and if the court jailed him he would not have been able to attend the investiture debate, scuppering his chances of becoming president.[34][35] At the investiture vote held on 22 March 2018 Turull secured 64 votes (JuntsxCat 33; ERC–CatSí 31) with 65 votes against (Cs 36; PSC 17; CatComú–Podem 8; PP 4), four abstentions (CUP-CC 4) and two absentees (JuntsxCat 1; ERC–CatSí 1).[36][37][38] A second vote on Turull's candidature was to be held on 24 March 2018 but on 23 March 2018 Llarena remanded in custody Turull and four other Catalan leaders.[39][40][41] On 3 April 2018 and 24 April 2018 the Catalan Parliament's bureau approved the two absentee MPs - Puigdemont (JuntsxCat) and Antoni Comín (ERC–CatSí) - voting by proxy.[42][43]

Turull's investiture vote had set in motion a two month deadline for a new president to be sworn in or else parliament would be dissolved and elections called.[44] On 10 May 2018 Puigdemont nominated Quim Torra, the so-called "plan D", to be president.[45][46][47][48][49] At the investiture vote held on 12 May 2018 Torra secured 66 votes (JuntsxCat 34; ERC–CatSí 32) with 65 votes against (Cs 36; PSC 17; CatComú–Podem 8; PP 4) and four abstentions (CUP-CC 4), failing to achieve the 68 votes necessary for an absolute majority.[50][51] As a result a second vote was held on 14 May 2018 at which he only needed a simple majority to become president.[52][53] The result of the second vote was exactly the same as the first vote - 66 in favour, 65 against and four abstentions - and as a result Torra was elected the 131st President of Catalonia.[54][55][56] King Felipe issued a royal decree on 15 May 2018 approving Torra's appointment and on 17 May 2018 he was sworn in.[57][58][59]

On 19 May 2018 Torra announced his new government of 13 ministers, two of whom were in jail (Josep Rull and Turull) and two were in exile (Comín and Lluís Puig).[60][61][62] The Spanish government condemned the inclusion of jailed/exiled politicians as provocative and refused to approve Torra's appointments or to revoke direct rule.[63][64][65] Faced with this opposition Torra announced a new government on 29 May 2018 without the jailed/exiled politicians.[66][67] In one of his last acts, ousted Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy ordered that direct to rule be lifted as soon as the new ministers were sworn in.[68][69][70] On 2 June 2018 the new ministers were sworn in at the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya, ending seven months of direct rule.[71][72][73]

Executive Council[edit]

Portrait Name Office Took office Left office Party Refs.
Quim Torra a la Assemblea General d'Òmnium Cultural (2015).jpg Quim Torra President 15 May 2018 Independent [74]
Pere Aragonès retrat oficial 2018.jpg Pere Aragonès Vice President

Minister of Economy and Finance

29 May 2018 Republican Left of Catalonia [75]
Elsa Artadi retrat oficial 2018.jpg Elsa Artadi Minister of the Presidency

Spokesperson of the Government

29 May 2018 Independent [75]
Josep Bargalló retrat oficial 2018.jpg Josep Bargalló Minister of Education 29 May 2018 Republican Left of Catalonia [75]
Laura Borràs retrat oficial 2018.jpg Laura Borràs Minister of Culture 29 May 2018 Independent [75]
Miquel Buch retrat oficial 2018.jpg Miquel Buch Minister of the Interior 29 May 2018 Catalan European Democratic Party [75]
Damià Calvet retrat oficial 2018.jpg Damià Calvet Minister of Territory and Sustainability 29 May 2018 Catalan European Democratic Party [75]
Ester Capella retrat oficial 2018.jpg Ester Capella Minister of Justice 29 May 2018 Republican Left of Catalonia [75]
Maria Àngels Chacón retrat oficial 2018.jpg Maria Àngels Chacón Minister of Enterprise and Knowledge 29 May 2018 Catalan European Democratic Party [75]
Chakir El Homrani retrat oficial 2018.jpg Chakir El Homrani Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family 29 May 2018 Republican Left of Catalonia [75]
Teresa Jordà retrat oficial 2018.jpg Teresa Jordà Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food 29 May 2018 Republican Left of Catalonia [75]
Ernest Maragall retrat oficial 2018.jpg Ernest Maragall Minister of Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency 29 May 2018 Republican Left of Catalonia [75]
Jordi Puigneró retrat oficial 2018.jpg Jordi Puigneró Minister of Digital Policies and Public Administration 29 May 2018 Catalan European Democratic Party [75]
Alba Vergés retrat oficial 2018.jpg Alba Vergés Minister of Health 29 May 2018 Republican Left of Catalonia [75]

References[edit]

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