The majority party in Catalonia’s parliament has failed to elect a president, starting a two-month countdown that could end with another election in Spain.

Candidate Jordi Turull fell short of the absolute majority needed to become the next Catalan president due to a division within the three parties who seek independence.

An abstention from Thursday’s vote by the anti-capitalist CUP party left Mr Turull with 64 votes when he needed 68.

Spain CataloniaJordi Turull was hoping to win 68 votes (Manu Fernandez/AP)

The parliament now has two months to pick a president and form a government before a new election is triggered.

Parliament rules say Mr Turull could have a second chance to be elected on Saturday.

But the former minister in the previous government faces a court date on Friday that could end with his indictment on rebellion charges and a spell in jail.