Junqueras can be president from prison, party's report says
Procedures to become MP can be carried out by representatives, according to an academic paper
The top candidate of Esquerra Republicana, Oriol Junqueras, who is currently in jail in the region of Madrid, would be able to take office as Catalan president even though he is incarcerated, according to a report ordered by his party and written by professor Joan Vintró.
According to the report published on Monday, pre-trial prison does not prevent anyone from taking office as a Member of Parliament. "The law only prevents convicted people from being MPs, and Junqueras has not been convicted" says the report. Junqueras, who is also vice president of the deposed Catalan government, has not been brought to trial yet and is in prison as a precautionary measure.
In addition, if the law allows him to become a Member of the Catalan Parliament, "it also has to allow the consequences that being an MP might involve, such as being elected president by the Catalan Parliament," says the report. Indeed, professor Vintró says that this argument is taken from other similar judicial decisions.
"The law only prevents convicted people from being MPs, and Junqueras has not been convicted"
Academic paper ordered by Esquerra
The text says that in the event that the Catalan chamber president officially designates Junqueras as candidate for presidency, he should be permitted to leave prison to attend the parliament debate on whether he should become president.
Additionally, the report points out that in order to take office, some administrative procedures have to be carried out, but Esquerra's general representative could do it on behalf of Junqueras. Junqueras would also need to swear to uphold the Constitution but could do so in writing, according to professor Vintró.
Pro-independence Esquerra Republicana has been leading the polls for months but since Junqueras is in prison the estimates mark a slight decline in vote for his party in favor of Carles Puigdemont's candidacy, the also pro-independence Together for Catalonia. While the top candidate on Esquerra's list is in prison, Together for Catalonia's leader is in Belgium, although no longer under an international arrest warrant.
Junqueras asked to be freed
Also on Monday, Junqueras asked the Supreme Court to be freed from prison to take part in the electoral campaign. In his appeal, he also denied having used violence on September 20 or any other day. He also claims that the Spanish Constitution allows people defending independence by peaceful means.