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Pro-secession lawmaker named new president of Spain's Catalan region

Incoming Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during the investiture session at the Catalonian parliament in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. Catalonia's pro-independence parties have agreed to appoint a new leader to enable the creation of a regional coalition government and reinvigorate a push for independence from Spain by 2017. Carles Puigdemont was selected Saturday to replace Artur Mas as the "Together for Yes" alliance's candidate for regional government leader. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Incoming Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks during the investiture session at the Catalonian parliament in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. Catalonia's pro-independence parties have agreed to appoint a new leader to enable the creation of a regional coalition government and reinvigorate a push for independence from Spain by 2017. Carles Puigdemont was selected Saturday to replace Artur Mas as the "Together for Yes" alliance's candidate for regional government leader. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Pro-independence politician Carles Puigdemont has been confirmed as the new regional president of Spain's powerful northeastern region of Catalonia, keeping alive the local parliament's disputed drive to secede from Spain.

Puigdemont's appointment, signed by King Felipe VI and acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, was published Tuesday in the Official State Gazette.

Puigdemont was voted in by pro-independence deputies in the Catalan parliament on Sunday after then-acting president Artur Mas failed to round up enough support.

A low-profile member of the ruling conservative Convergence party, Puigdemont pledges to continue Mas' initiative to lead the region to independence by 2017.

His appointment comes as Spanish political parties opposed to independence struggle to make deals to form a new national government following an inconclusive Dec. 20 general election.

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