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76 MPs call for EU Parliament to recognize pro-independence leaders as MEPs

Parliamentarians sympathetic to their cause sign an open letter to chamber head Antonio Tajani urging that Puigdemont, Comín and Junqueras be accepted as representatives

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04 June 2019 10:48 AM

by

Daniel Wittenberg | Barcelona

The representatives of pro-independence parties Junts per Catalunya, Esquerra Republicana, Catalunya en Comú and CUP in the Catalan parliament have signed an open letter to the President of the European Parliament calling for the exiled and imprisoned Catalan leaders who won seats in the European elections to be recognized as MEPs.

The 76 Catalan MPs warned President Antonio Tajani and his vice presidents that the decision to refuse ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and his former minister Toni Comín, who are living in exile in Belgium, entry to the EU Parliament building was a "shameful obstruction of the electoral rules and democratic principles."

The open letter described the acceptance of the request by Spanish unionists the People's Party, the Socialist Party and Ciutadans that the parliamentary accreditation of its MEPs be canceled until further notice as "completely arbitrary and inexplicable".

The MPs were also critical of the lack of provision for ex-Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras to register his seat from preventative prison in Madrid, pending the verdict of his trial for alleged rebellion relating to the failed independence drive in 2017.

They restated the number of votes that each of the candidates received in the May 26 election, calling their electoral mandate a form of "essential and irreplaceable" accreditation and said that Tajani would be "weakening the democratic nature" of the EU Parliament by continuing to bar access to the legislature ahead of its opening on July  2.

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  • The Catalan parliament chamber with empty seats for the jailed and exiled leaders

  • The Catalan parliament chamber with empty seats for the jailed and exiled leaders

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