>> Catalonia's newly elected parliament meeting for it's maiden session. It was dominated by the question of whether fired former leader, Carles Puigdemont, can return as regional president and continue his push for independence from Spain. He's still in self imposed exile in Brussels after fleeing the country in October.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy fired Puigdemont for declaring an independent republic following last year's illegal referendum. Some of his supporters now suggest he could rule remotely via video link. The Spanish government warns if that happens, it will continue direct rule. Reuters' Julian Pouyes says that could lead to two groups saying they lead Catalonia.
>> Puigdemont and his exiled government in Brussels will might not have the capacity to rule on the ground. But might just say in the media that they're actually taking decisions. And on the other side, the Spanish government actually ruling on the ground. But so let's remember the party of Mariano Rajoy just obtained four members of Parliament out of 150 in the last election in December.
So that's very, very low.>>
>> As pro-independence supporters rallied outside, it was a sign of strength for the parties wanting to split from Spain indoors as well. The new law makers elected a pro-independence politician as Speaker, and a like minded governing body. The government now has ten days to put forward a candidate as the new president.
Despite Spanish warnings, Puigdemont remains the front runner.>> Another option could have Puigdemont's former deputy, Oriol Junqueras, who is currently in custody in Madrid, being released and maybe becoming the new president. It's also very unlikely. Another option could be finding another candidate within the pro-independent ranks.>> The threat of a protracted crisis isn't good news for business, with thousands of companies moving their headquarters elsewhere in Spain.