Published January 09, 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.
Mas' ruling conservative Convergence party had joined forces with the Republican Left of Catalonia as "Together for Yes" to win 62 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament last September. However, Mas needed 10 seats held by the radical, anti-capitalist CUP party to form a majority, and its leaders insisted he step down.
Puigdemont's appointment means new regional elections can now be averted, although first parliament must approve him.