Partner of jailed leader to run in European election

Diana Riba to join former VP Oriol Junqueras’ ticket as his number two

Diana Riba in the European Parliament (by Laura Pous)
Diana Riba in the European Parliament (by Laura Pous) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 15, 2018 12:54 PM

Diana Riba, the partner of jailed Catalan leader Raül Romeva, will run in the European election for independence Esquerra (ERC) party. She will be the number two to party leader Oriol Junqueras, the former Catalan vice president, also in prison.

Carles Puigdemont, the former president in exile and the leader of the other major pro-independence party in Catalonia, Junts per Catalunya (JxCat), offered Junqueras to join forces and run as his number two, but he declined.

Riba has been very active in denouncing the situation of his husband and other Catalan leaders in jail for organizing a referendum and declaring independence despite Spain’s opposition last year.

Last May, she addressed members of the European Parliament: "I married a pacifist and now he is in jail accused of rebellion—a crime that only applies in cases where there has been violence, which was not the case."

Before assuming his post as foreign affairs minister in the Catalan government, Romeva himself had been a member of the European Parliament for around a decade. Riba acknowledged that being in the chamber was "hard" for her.