Just over three weeks after Spain’s inconclusive snap election, parliament reconvenes on Thursday under a cloud of political uncertainty which could end in a fresh poll later this year. The 350 lawmakers elected on July 23 will gather in Madrid for a new parliamentary session to choose a new speaker, although the man who would be kingmaker will be in Brussels, where he has been living in exile since the botched Catalan independence bid of 2017. In an astonishing twist of fate, it is Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont, who is wanted by the Spanish judicial authorities over his role in the 2017 crisis, who now holds the keys to the fate of Spain’s next government. On Thursday, lawmakers will renew the leadership of the parliament — the Congress of Deputies — voting in a new speaker to head the parliamentary bureau, along with four deputies and four secretaries. It has generated huge interest because it is widely seen as a prelude to the all-important investiture vote for a new prime minister which should take place in early September. As neither the left nor the right have enough seats to form a working majority, the future of Spain’s next government lies in the hands of Puigdemont’s hardline separatist party, JxCat — whose votes will be closely watched on Thursday. Although Alberto Nunez Feijoo’s right-wing Popular Party (PP) won July’s election with 137 seats, it fell far short of the 176 needed to govern, even with the support of the far-right Vox (33 seats).