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Parliamentary debate to protect jailed MPs’ rights underway

The three presidential candidates are behind bars after Spanish judiciary blocked their bids

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28 March 2018 10:45 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan parliament holds a new plenary session on Wednesday to debate protecting the political rights of the three presidential candidates, after their bids for president were blocked by the Spanish judiciary. While the deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont is in custody in Germany pending a decision on his extradition, both Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull are incarcerated in the Madrid region.

The resolution protecting the political rights of Puigdemont, Sànchez, and Turull was approved with the votes of the three pro-independence parties, which have a narrow majority in the chamber: Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), Esquerra Republicana (ERC), and far-left CUP.

The plenary session in parliament comes a day after the United Nations accepted for consideration Puigdemont's appeal for protection of his political rights. The UN’s Council of Human Rights will now consider the deposed president's request, which condemns the violation of the Catalan leader's right to run for public office, as well as his right of association and peaceful political expression.

Earlier in the day, Puigdemont's JxCat party requested permission for him to vote by proxy. Other pro-independence leaders who are currently in jail have been allowed to delegate their vote to colleagues in previous parliamentary debates. Yet, the parliament bureau will not decide on the matter on Wednesday.

"We're the party of the president [Puigdemont] and we'll do everything we can to protect his rights," said Gemma Geis, a spokesperson for Junts per Catalunya, the largest pro-independence party in the chamber.

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  • Plenary sesssion in parliament (by Pere Francesch)

  • Plenary sesssion in parliament (by Pere Francesch)