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Puigdemont’s party won’t replace suspended MPs; allies warn of parliament ‘collapse’

Junts per Catalunya wants prosecuted MPs to vote through a delegate despite risk of losing majority

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09 October 2018 01:16 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The party of former president Carles Puigdemont, Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), is set to defy Spanish courts, pledging not to replace the pro-independence leader and three other JxCat MPs suspended from the Catalan parliament.

Esquerra (ERC), JxCat’s partners in government and main allies in the chamber, meanwhile urge the party to abide by the ruling, warning of a parliament collapse.

Unlike Puigdemont’s party, ERC conceded to court orders and substituted its suspended MPs, including party leader and former vice president Oriol Junqueras.

With the parliament plenary session set to resume on Tuesday at 3 pm, if JxCat’s MPs are not allowed to cast their votes pro-independence parties risk losing their majority.

The parliament session was called off last week following discrepancies between pro-independence parties over how to implement the suspension, an issue which has been causing conflict since before the summer recess.

On October 2, they passed a joint resolution rejecting the ruling from the Spanish Supreme Court while offering parties the possibility of substituting the MPs in question—yet, only ERC applied the second part of the motion.

The former Catalan president, currently exiled in Belgium, as well as his three fellow MPs, all in pre-trial jail, are prosecuted for organizing a referendum and declaring independence despite Spain’s opposition.

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  • Catalan president Quim Torra (left) and parliament speaker Roger Torrent (by ACN)

  • Catalan president Quim Torra (left) and parliament speaker Roger Torrent (by ACN)