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Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has told the Parliament's speaker, Roger Torrent, that he is stepping aside and won't stand as a candidate in the postponed investiture debate. The public announcement was made in a speech from Brussels this Thursday evening. Parliamentary sources say that Torrent will hold talks with the different parliamentary parties early next week to find a new candidate. Puigdemont has said that his JxCat group will propose Jordi Sànchez.

In his message shared via social media, the president announces that he has "provisionally" asked the speaker to not present his candidacy for investiture as president and to start a new round of talks in the Parliament. At this point, he suggested the number two on his election list, Jordi Sànchez, currently held in pretrial detention, as an alternative candidate. "He's a man of peace unjustly locked up in a Spanish prison," said Puigdemont.

The president in exile argued that him stepping aside is the only way to achieve as soon as possible a new government which can fulfil its functions in Catalonia, as opposed to the one planned for Brussels. "There will be no excuse for Madrid to ignore our voices," he said.

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