Man who lost an eye on referendum day to run as Senate candidate for Puigdemont’s party
Roger Español replaces former minister Lluís Puig in Junts per Catalunya ticket for the Spanish general election
Roger Español, a pro-independence activist who lost an eye to a rubber bullet shot by a police officer in the 2017 referendum, will run as a candidate for the Spanish Senate for Junts per Catalunya (JxCat).
JxCat is led by former president Carles Puigdemont, exiled in Belgium since declaring independence from Spain on October 27, 2017.
Two years on, Español has become a symbol of the October 1 referendum, and his blind eye a reminder of the police operation that left hundreds of voters injured while trying to stop the vote.
In the previous general election last April, JxCat put forward former minister Lluís Puig, also exiled in Belgium, as a Senate candidate.
The higher chamber
The Senate is the higher chamber of Spain’s Parliament, with fewer legislative attributions than the Congress (the lower house), but responsible for authorizing the Spanish government to use Article 155 of the Constitution to sack regional governments and impose direct rule from Madrid — an exceptional measure used for the first time in 2017 against Puigdemont’s government.
JxCat has not yet announced its candidates for Congress. Last April, the ticket was led by Jordi Sànchez, Josep Rull, and Jordi Turull, who are in jail for their role in the 2017 independence bid. With their verdict expected to be announced in the coming days, a guilty sentence could prevent them from running in the election again.