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Exiled former ministers Comín and Ponsatí join Puigdemont in European election

Former president will head candidacy and has pledged to return to Catalonia if he wins a seat

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08 April 2019 01:17 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Two members of Carles Puigdemont's former Catalan government will join the ex-president's candidacy for the May 26 European election.

The Junts per Catalunya ticket will be topped by Puigdemont, who will be followed by former health minister Toni Comín, who like the former head of government is exiled in Belgium.

The number 3 candidate on the ticket will be the former education minister, Clara Ponsatí, who is also on exile, in Scotland.

All three have faced extradition requests from the Spanish judiciary, but none of the requests have prospered.

Political adviser Erika Casajoana will be the number 4 candidate, and will be followed by Gorka Knörr, former MEP for the Basque pro-independence Eusko Alkartasuna party and former vice president of the Basque parliament.

Return with immunity

Puigdemont stated in March that if he were elected as an MEP, he would return to Catalonia using the immunity granted to all members of the European Parliament.

Comín was until now been linked to Esquerra, the other mainstream pro-independence party in Catalonia.

Esquerra's ticket topped by Junqueras

Esquerra's list in the European election will be topped by the vice president of Puigdemont's former cabinet, Oriol Junqueras, who has been in preventive detention for nearly a year and a half.

Following Esquerra's leader will be Diana Riba, the wife of the also former minister Raül Romeva, who is also incarcerated.

Joint ticket

When presenting the ticket on Monday morning, a Junts per Catalunya official insisted that a unitary pro-independence list would be the best option, gathering both Esquerra and Puigdemont's list.

In order to persuade Esquerra, the former president would accept being number two to Junqueras in a potential joint ticket, party members said on Monday. A unitary candidacy was ruled out by Esquerra again later on the day. 

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  • The former Catalan cabinet members Clara Ponsatí, Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín (front) in Waterloo, Belgium, in February 2019 (by Natàlia Segura)

  • The former Catalan cabinet members Clara Ponsatí, Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín (front) in Waterloo, Belgium, in February 2019 (by Natàlia Segura)

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