Jailed pro-independence leaders urge forming a government
Spanish government to appeal against law change to swear in Puigdemont
A group of jailed pro-independence leaders have urged Carles Puigdemont to make a move to form a new government in Catalonia. Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn all ran on Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) ticket in the last Catalan election. The four of them, who except for Forn are still MPs for JxCat, sent letters to their party leader stressing the importance of a new executive for the country so as to avoid a fresh election.
No government since October
Catalonia has had no government since the Spanish executive sacked the Puigdemont cabinet last October. After the pro-independence camp held on to its parliamentary majority in the December 21, 2017 Catalan election, four presidential bids have been blocked by the Spanish judiciary, because the candidates for the post (Puigdemont, Sànchez and Turull) were either in jail or abroad.
There is now less than a month to go until the deadline for the pro-independence parties to swear in a candidate. If Catalonia still has no president on May 22, an automatic snap election will be triggered. In fact, in their letters to Puigdemont, the jailed MPs argue for swearing in a candidate and forming a new government soon on the grounds that a new election must be avoided. Junts per Catalunya sources told the Catalan News Agency (ACN) that all their MPs have “the same position.”
The main pro-independence groups, JxCat and ERC, have enough representatives between them to swear in an MP as president, especially after the parliament bureau accepted the delegated vote of the members of the Catalan Parliament abroad –although this decision is likely to end up being challenged in the Spanish Constitutional Court.
“Puigdemont won’t be president, we will appeal whatever we have to appeal as a government”
Spanish government sources
Yet Junts per Catalunya is still hoping to swear in Carles Puigdemont from Germany, although a similar move was blocked by the Spanish Constitutional Court last January. Puigdemont’s group is now trying to amend the Catalan presidency law to enable a bid by proxy.
Spanish government to appeal against plans to swear in Puigdemont
The candidacy is trying to amend the Catalan presidency law to enable a Puigdemont bid by proxy, and intends to pass the reform on May 3. But this is not going to be easy at all. Some sources in the Spanish government said on Thursday that they are going to appeal this amendment. “Puigdemont won’t be president, we will appeal whatever we have to appeal as a government,” said the sources. Although they did not reveal at what point they will make such a move, they called swearing in Puigdemont for a second term “impossible.”