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Madrid challenges Puigdemont's candidature for president

Rajoy’s cabinet starts procedure to appeal in the Spanish Constitutional Court against the efforts to reinstate the Catalan leader

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25 January 2018 01:14 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish government is determined to stop Carles Puigdemont being reinstated as Catalan president and on Thursday it took another step forward. Mariano Rajoy’s vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, announced that the cabinet had started the procedure to appeal against Puigdemont's candidature for president in the Spanish Constitutional Court. “Mr. Torrent [the Catalan Parliament president] cannot nominate Mr. Puigdemont as president,” said Rajoy’s number 2. She argued that he has an arrest warrant against him in Spain, so he would not be able to attend the Catalan Parliament as he would be arrested as soon as he sets foot in the country. She added that Puigdemont has not got “all” the rights, such as “ambulatory freedom.” 

Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said that the Spanish government asked the consultive Council of State body whether nominating Puigdemont can be challenged or not. This is a prior step to the appeal in the Constitutional Court, which could happen as soon as Friday, she said. Rajoy’s vice-president also explained that it had questioned the same body if a potential investiture at a distance can also be challenged in the Constitutional Court, as well as the MPs in Brussels delegating their vote.

  • “Mr. Torrent [the Catalan Parliament president] cannot nominate Mr. Puigdemont as president"

    Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría · Spanish vice-president

The Catalan Parliament president, Roger Torrent, nominated Carles Puigdemont as the only candidate for the investiture debate after speaking with all political groups in the chamber. Yet, it is still uncertain how Puigdemont intends to take office. Puigdemont remains in Brussels, and risks being arrested and jailed by the Spanish authorities if he returns to Catalonia.

'This is a coup d'etat,' responds Together for Catalonia

Officials from Puigdemont’s candidacy, Together for Catalonia, responded to Spain's latest move. “This is a coup d’etat against the will of our citizens,” said MP Eduard Pujol. “This is evidence that the Spanish executive does not accept democracy, [or] the December 21 election results,” he added. According to him, Rajoy’s cabinet is defining MPs as first class and second class, which “only dictatorships do.”

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  • The Spanish vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, talking to the press (by Tania Tapia)

  • The Spanish vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, talking to the press (by Tania Tapia)

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