New Catalan Cabinet in line to end 7-month power vacuum

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MADRID (AP) – Catalan President Quim Torra has appointed a Cabinet composed of members not being investigated in a judicial probe into last year’s independence bid, paving the way for an end to the seven-month vacuum in the regional government.

Spanish central authorities, who are managing Catalonia directly since separatists passed a unilateral declaration of independence in October, need to publish their names now in an official gazette, ending Madrid’s special controls over the prosperous region.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government refused to publish a previous list of ministerial nominees that included two people in pre-trial custody and two more fighting extradition to Spain from Belgium.

The respite in the Catalan crisis comes as Rajoy faces a parliamentary no-confidence vote Friday following corruption convictions involving members of his ruling Popular Party.

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