MADRID – Catalonia's lawmakers are meeting to end more than six months of leadership vacuum by voting in a fervent separatist as the new chief of the restive region, setting the scene for a new confrontation with Spain.
Quim Torra, the former leader of a pro-independence civil society group, has vowed to continue working toward an independent Catalan republic.
He is regarded as a close ally of his predecessor in Catalonia's top job, ousted president Carles Puigdemont, who is fighting extradition to Spain from Germany.
Torra failed to achieve an absolute majority in a first parliamentary vote on Saturday but he's expected to be elected on Monday by simple majority after an anti-capitalist separatist party announced it would abstain.
Central authorities have been ruling Catalonia directly from Madrid since an attempt to declare unilateral independence from Spain in late October.