BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The leader of a Catalan secessionist alliance promising to break away from Spain by mid-2017 failed again Thursday to get the backing of regional lawmakers for his re-election as president, posing a setback for the economically powerful region's independence drive.
Artur Mas' candidacy was rejected by 73-62 in the Catalan parliament, with only his "Together for Yes" alliance supporting him. He lost a previous vote Tuesday by a similar margin.
Lacking a majority in the 135-seat parliament, Mas had been reliant on the support of the pro-secession, far-left CUP group, which has 10 seats. But the CUP has refused to back Mas as regional president.
The parliament has until Jan. 10 to elect a leader and form a government or it must call fresh elections.