Puigdemont Catalan presidential candidate, Torrent says

23 Enero, 2018, 01:08 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont arrives at Copenhagen Airport in Denmark on Monday Jan. 22 2018. On the same day his name was put forth to return as Catalonia's president

"I confirm that the only candidate that has been proposed is Mr. Carles Puigdemont", said Roger Torrent, the newly-elected separatist speaker at the Catalan parliament.

Carles Puigdemont was named as the sole candidate for leader of the Catalan parliament on Monday in a move which could deepen further the rift between Barcelona and Madrid.

Puigdemont fled to Brussels after his regional government declared independence from Spain on October 27 following a referendum ruled illegal by Spanish authorities, who also sacked his cabinet.

Llanera argued that Puigdemont's trip had "no other aim other than to provoke his arrest" to allow him to participate in the forthcoming investiture debate.

"Mr. Puigdemont is subject to a process in Spain".

The parliamentary vote to choose a new Catalan leader is due to take place by the end of January.

He also talked about an April 25 constitutional referendum in the Faeroe Islands, a Danish territory.

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The court decision also came on the same day that Puigdemont arrived in Denmark to give a speech at the University of Copenhagen - his first trip outside Belgium after he fled to Brussels in October to avoid arrest on charges including sedition and rebellion for his role in Catalonia's independence push. Speaking to a crowded auditorium at the University of Copenhagen, he said that he sought to regain his old job as Catalonia's president because supporters of secession had won the most seats in the recent election.

The parliament was dissolved a year ago by the government in Madrid after the body approved the region's unilateral independence.

The warrant was dropped in December over discrepancies between Belgian and Spanish law that would limit the charges under which Puigdemont could be extradited and therefore be charged with on his return.

While separatist parties had already said Puigdemont was their candidate, Torrent's announcement makes it official.

The Danish state prosecutor declined to comment.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy reiterated Saturday that governing Catalonia from overseas would be "illegal" and has warned Madrid would maintain its direct control over the region and will take the matter to court if Puigdemont sought remote rule. The judge might not re-issue the arrest order for the same reasons. "Outside, for the moment, his movements are free within the European Union, but we'll see". TV2 released an image of the ex Catalan leader flanked by reporters after deplaning at Copenhagen Airport.

Hours later, the Court rejected the request, saying reactivating the warrant would be postponed until the Catalan parliament, which met for the first time last week, was restored to normal activity.



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