Puigdemont on track

Carles Puigdemont elected 130th President of the Generalitat de Catalunya on first vote; pledges full support in taking the country to independence

Carles Puigdemont is the 130th president of the Generalitat. The former mayor of Girona was invested in Parliament last night, the culmination of a week of vertigo in which JxSí and CUP saved the legislature which was on the cusp of the deadline and narrowly avoided fresh elections in March. Puigdemont promised to “give his all” to bring the independence process to term in the short 18-month mandate, renewing the spirit of the break with Spain in the initial declaration of November 9, which due to the difference between independence coalition and training anticapitalist seemed just a few days ago to be condemned to failure.

Puigdemont admitted during his speech that until Saturday morning he knew nothing of his possible nomination.

Reaction from Madrid was swift in response to the formation of a government in Catalonia. Acting PM Mariano Rajoy stated that he could not allow anyone acting outside the law to put the unity of the state in danger.

Puigdemont was voted in with eight votes coming from CUP. Two of the group, Gabriela Serra and Josep Manel Busqueta abstained.

The Speaker of the parliament, Carmen Forcadell, will inform the King of the appointment today and the new president will take office on Tuesday. Initially it was planned that the cabinet would be sworn in on Wednesday, but that is now more likely to happen on Thursday so as to not coincide with the new congress and senate in Madrid. Three names are already known; Oriol Junqueras will be Vice-President and control the economy portfolio, Neus Munté, social welfare, and Raül Romeva, international affairs.

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