There are now 70 lawmakers in the regional parliament who are pro-independence, against 65 who aren't.
Former Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, attends a a meeting with members of the Junts per Catalunya party, in a hotel in Berlin, Saturday, April 5, 2018.
The 55-year-old, a fervent secessionist, will have another chance during a second round on Monday, when only a simple majority of more "yes" than "no" votes is required. Currently, the former head of the government of Catalonia Carles Pujdeme is located in Germany and has no right to leave its territory, reports the online edition of the Chronicle.info with reference to the Correspondent.
Puigdemont proposed Torra as candidate in an address released on his YouTube video channel.
He soon made a name for himself in Catalan nationalist circles, joining various separatist organisations, including those that helped organise the huge rallies that eventually led to last year's independence push and subsequent political crisis.
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Separatist leaders declared Catalonia independent last October after an outlawed independence referendum.
There he specialised in reviving texts by Catalan journalists from the civil war and Francisco Franco's dictatorship, which severely repressed Catalonia among other regions.
Government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said earlier the Catalan parliament would not be able to call a session to appoint Puigdemont "at the risk of committing the offence of disobedience".
Separatists won regional elections in December, but fresh polls will be triggered if a new leader is not elected by May 22.
Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium just days after being sacked by Madrid, was detained in Germany in March after Spain issued a European arrest warrant against him.