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Puigdemont ‘convinced’ parliament will not accept his suspension as MP

Pro-independence parties at odds over how to implement orders from the Spanish judiciary

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19 September 2018 02:24 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan president prosecuted for organizing a referendum and declaring independence, is "absolutely convinced" lawmakers in the Parliament of Catalonia will not accept orders from the Spanish judiciary to suspend him as an MP.

When the Supreme Court dismissed Puigdemont and other MPs accused of rebellion last July, pro-independence parties quarreled over how to implement the ruling.

While Esquerra Republicana (ERC) offered to temporarily replace the prosecuted MPs, Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya party (JxCat) did not accept the former president losing his voting rights.

  •  "It’s only the citizens who can demand that I no longer represent them"

    Carles Puigdemont · Former Catalan president

The last parliamentary session ended without the pro-independence forces reaching a compromise. With lawmakers due to meet in the first week of October, it is not clear whether they have already agreed on how to proceed.

"The majority in parliament has been elected by citizens," said Puigdemont at a conference in Hasselt, Belgium. "It’s only the citizens who can demand that I no longer represent them."  

In Belgium, Puigdemont spoke at the inauguration of the course on International and European Law at the PXL University College.

Almost a year abroad

Puigdemont left Catalonia to seek refuge abroad right after Spain imposed direct rule and dismissed him and all his ministers following a declaration of independence.

Running from abroad, Puigdemont became the most voted candidate among pro-independence parties in an election called by the Spanish government.

The Supreme Court pursued his extradition in order to send him to trial, but gave up after Germany rejected to hand him in for the crime of violent rebellion—the most serious offence faced by pro-independence leaders.

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  • Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont speaks at the PXL University College in Belgium (by Blanca Blay)

  • Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont speaks at the PXL University College in Belgium (by Blanca Blay)