JxCat determined to swear in Puigdemont “by end of January”
Spanish government will "immediately and without hesitation" appeal against potential appointment in absentia, says spokesman
Carles Puigdemont’s candidacy, Together for Catalonia, is determined to reinstate him as Catalan president while he is in Belgium. This is what the candidacy's two top spokespeople said this Friday in a press conference as their elected MPs held a meeting in Brussels ahead of the Parliament’s opening session on January 17. Puigdemont said this week that there are not enough “guarantees” for him to return to Catalonia as he is likely to be arrested and jailed, so he aims to be sworn in in absentia, via video or through an MP representing him in the hemicycle. Yet the Spanish government will "immediately and without hesitation" appeal against this potential remote appointment, said the executive spokesperson also on Friday after the weekly cabinet meeting.
Puigdemont's candidacy does not specify how they intend to sworn him in
Together for Catalonia’s spokespeople said that Puigdemont will be sworn in by “applying the Parliament regulations” but did not specify how exactly they intend to do it, as he is still in Brussels. “We will not decide it today,” they said. The plenary session to pick a new Catalan president has to be held by the end of the month. “We are certain that Puigdemont will be reinstated by the end of January,” the party officials claimed.
They also commented on the appeal that the Spanish government might submit in the event of a remote appointment. “It would be shocking for Catalans and the rest of the world for the Parliament to choose who the new president will be and then for someone in Spain to decide they do not like it. They did it once and we hope they will not do it again,” they stated.
Puigdemont plan a "fallacy and unworkable aspiration," says Spanish government
Yet this new clash of wills between the Catalan and Spanish administrations is very likely to occur. On Friday, the Spanish government spokesman said that Mariano Rajoy’s cabinet will appeal against a potential appointment ‘in absentia.’ According to him, the Catalan Parliament regulations “say that the speaker can talk from the stand or from the seat, but not from a plasma screen.” Puigdemont’s plan is a “fallacy and an unworkable aspiration,” he added, while branding the deposed Catalan president as a “fugitive.”