Thursday, 18 October, 2018


Catalonia Separatists Support Re-Election of Exiled Leader Puigdemont

Catalonia Separatists Support Re-Election of Exiled Leader Puigdemont Catalonia Separatists Support Re-Election of Exiled Leader Puigdemont
Melba Vasquez | 13 January, 2018, 09:11

CARLES Puigdemont is set be re-installed as Catalonia's president following a deal between the region's two major separatist parties.

The separatists' agreement is the first significant step toward forming a new government in the restive Spanish region following regional elections December 21.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called the election in Catalonia last month to try to resolve Spain's worst political crisis in decades after Catalan leaders declared independence in October following a banned referendum on secession.

Puigdemont boasted again on Wednesday that the three Catalan pro-independence parties had secured a majority despite some of their candidates campaigning from self-imposed exile or in jail while facing possible charges of rebellion.

A spokesman from his Together for Catalonia political platform said that Puigdemont has gained the support of ERC separatists as well.

"The Dec. 21 result gave us the mandate to reflect the majority".

While Spanish authorities have dropped a bid for a European arrest warrant to deport him, he has previously said he will return to Spain only if it offers certain "guarantees". "The presidential candidate will evidently be Puigdemont", Junts pel Catalunya representative Jordi Xucla told Spanish national radio.

He is likely to be detained if he returns to Spain, pending an investigation on charges of sedition, rebellion, misuse of public funds, disobedience and breach of trust. Those leaders remain out of the country, and Puigdemont has said if he's re-elected, he would discharge his duties remotely, via a video linkup such as Skype.

The new Catalan parliament will hold its first session on 17 January, the first step in reinstating the local government after Madrid fired the old regional administration, led by Puigdemont, for illegally declaring independence.

Dismissing the suggestion, the leader of the anti-independence Ciutadans (Citizens) party said "a person who is fleeing justice can't be the president". Insisting that such methods would be illegal, Mr Maillo said anything other than a traditional investiture - in which a president presented himself and his programme to parliament for a vote - would be "a real mockery, first of the Catalans, and then of the rest of the parliamentary groups". However, it could take months for a new government to emerge. Spain has jailed other pro-separatist leaders involved in the independence push.

"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", he wrote in an editorial for the Politico Europe website.

"Madrid must be made to understand that what is needed is dialogue, negotiation and agreement on the future relationship we Catalans want to have with Spain - one based on respect, recognition, cooperation and equality".

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