Pro-independence party preparing criminal lawsuit against Spanish cabinet
Together for Catalonia accuses government ministers of intimidation and coercion to prevent Carles Puigdemont from taking office
The pro-independence Together for Catalonia candidacy (JxCat) is preparing a criminal lawsuit against the Spanish government after the cabinet decided to challenge the legality of Carles Puigdemont’s bid to become Catalan president in the Constitutional Court. Rajoy’s cabinet had asked the opinion of the Council of State, which saw breach of the law in the Catalan Parliament's plans to reinstate Carles Puigdemont as Catalan president—at least, not until the swearing in effectively takes place.
In a blow to the Spanish government, which aims to bring Puigdemont’s candidacy to the Constitutional Court anyway, the consultive body stated that there is no basis for challenging his investiture in advance. One day after the Council of State issued a response, JxCat MP, Josep Rull, announced that his party was thinking of launching the criminal lawsuit during a radio interview. This was confirmed by JxCat sources, who say the party’s lawyers are currently drawing up the suit.
Citing article 498 of the penal code, JxCat sources told Catalan News that they consider the cabinet's decision to be an example of intimidation and coercion against public officials so as to prevent Puigdemont from taking office, something the cabinet denies.
Rajoy's cabinet goes ahead despite consultive body report
Yet, the Spanish government is determined to go ahead, even without the approval of the Council of State, which is a consultive body and its opinions are not binding. Shortly after the Council’s response, Puigdemont asked via Twitter for Sáenz de Santamaría’s immediate resignation for “the fraud she was planning to orchestrate.”
What is more, the Catalan Parliament president, Roger Torrent, confirmed on Thursday that plans to elect Puigdemont as president of the Catalan executive were going ahead, and announced that the investiture debate would take place on January 30 at 3pm.
All pro-independence parties meet to prepare the investiture
Representatives of the pro-independence JxCat, ERC and CUP parties met today in Parliament to prepare the investiture debate and to discuss the government programme. This was the first meeting among pro-independence parties in which the far-left CUP party attended. All previous meetings had been held between only JxCat and ERC. So far, the CUP party has presented a list of proposals to negotiate their vote in the investiture debate. Still, the political council of the party will have the final say.