The parliament of Spain’s pro-independence province of Catalonia will vote for a new regional president Thursday.
The parties seeking a split from Spain will put forward their third candidate, Jordi Turull, a member of the previous regional administration, for a vote of confidence.
Catalonia has been in political limbo since December, when Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called a special election in an effort to derail an independence movement in the region. The plan backfired when parties favoring a split with Spain won the election.
Madrid invoked special powers to take over the regional government after the Catalan administration declared independence in October.
The separatists at first tried to re-elect ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, but he is in a self-imposed exile in Brussels and faces arrest if he returns to Spain.
Their second choice, Jordi Sanchez, is in jail and withdrew his candidacy earlier Wednesday.
It remains to be seen if Turull, who was briefly detained and is free on bail, will be able to become the next president because Madrid has made it clear it will stop any candidate who has taken part in the secessionist drive.