Carles Puigdemont

CATALUNYA’S seperatist parties have agreed to re-elect exiled Carles Puigdemont as president of the region later this month.

How they will do it within the parameters of the law, however, is still undecided.

It comes after the former president fled to Brussels after he was sacked for organising an ‘illegal’ independence referendum in October.

He currently faces immediate arrest if he returns to Spain, but has instructed the separatist alliance, which won a majority in December 21’s snap regional election, to elect him from afar.

Anti-independence parties say he cannot rule from another country.

“It’s evident that for governing Catalonia you have to be in Catalonia, you can’t do that via WhatsApp or as a hologram,” said Ines Arrimadas, the leader of the anti-independence Ciutadans (Citizens) party.

“A person who is fleeing justice can’t be the president.”

A spokesman from Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) said the he had secured the backing of the left-republican ERC party Tuesday evening in Brussels.

The secessionist parties together hold 66 of the 135 seats in the regional chamber, and can add the support of four anti-establishment lawmakers.

But their lead depends on jailed or fugitive elected lawmakers who won’t be able to vote unless they are released or give up their seats to someone else on the party list.

But a new president can form government with a simple majority in a second attempt.

Puigdemont will propose to speak via videolink to the regional parliament later this month or have a fellow party lawmaker read the mandatory speech that candidates to the regional leadership need to deliver before being voted in.

 

Puigdemont said today: “The desire to be free from Madrid is rising, it is in the majority and it is lasting over time, despite the huge difficulties it faces,

“That calls for attention and respect – neither of which have been offered by the Spanish government and the European Union.”

 

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