by Staff Reporter

PERE Rotger, the Mayor of Inca, is the new Speaker of the Balearic parliament, and he said yesterday he was confident that the parliament would become “a great debating forum” in which the matters which cause Balearic residents most concern are debated. Rotger was the candidate proposed by the Popular Party (PP) and he received the backing of 33 deputies, the 30 of the PP and three of Majorcan Union (UM). The opposition parties, PSIB (Balearic Socialists), PSM (Majorcan Socialist Party), EU (United Left) and the Greens (EV), who did not present an alternative candidate, abstained. The new Speaker said that he was surprised when he received a phone call at 7.30am yesterday from Jaume Matas, head of the PP in the Balearics, inviting him to take the post. Shortly before the parliamentary session opened, he said he was looking forward to his new responsibilities.
Being Speaker, he said, “is a great responsibility and a great honour” and he thanked Matas and fellow deputies for the confidence they had placed in him. According to the parliament's legal department, Rotger will not have to give up his post as Mayor of Inca, and can combine both duties.
He said that being Mayor of Inca was a commitment he had taken on at the elections, and said he was confident he would find the time to fulfil all the obligations of both posts. However, outgoing leader Francesc Antich said he thought that the two posts were incompatible.
Rotger replaces Maximiliano Morales of the Majorcan Union in the post of Speaker.
Joan Mari Tur (PP) was voted the first deputy Speaker, Valentí Valenciano López (PSIB) second deputy, Guilermo Camps (PP) secretary and Felix Fernandez Torres (PSIB) deputy secretary. Jaume Matas will probably be invested leader of the government on June 27, although his government will not be announced until the 30th.
After the Speaker was elected, the deputies were sworn in. The four PSM deputies promised to be faithful to the king and respect the Constitution and the Autonomy Statute “without renouncing home rule” while Margalida Rossello of the Greens and Miquel Ramon (EU) did so “for legal necessity.” Rotger has a reputation of being in favour of dialogue to solve problems.

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