Puigdemont ready to head joint civil candidacy in Dec 21 election
In an exclusive interview with the Catalan News Agency (ACN) the president backs the idea of standing on a joint ticket for the “greater good” of democracy
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, ousted by the Spanish government, is willing to stand at the head of a joint civil candidacy in the upcoming elections, as proposed on Friday by the Ateneu Barcelonès. In an exclusive interview with the Catalan News Agency (ACN in Catalan) in Brussels, Puigdemont said that he was in favour of the idea of a joint candidacy. “I identify with an idea of these characteristics, which rather than looking to the legitimate aspirations of each party rather seeks to protect the greater good in these elections, which is democracy,” he said.
Calling it everyone’s “moral duty” to contribute, the Catalan president "in exile" in Belgium said the joint candidacy initiative “would be good news,” before adding, “I am ready to contribute to making it possible.” Insisting that “we are in such an exceptional moment that exceptional measures are needed,” Puigdemont said that he was convinced that a great many people in Catalonia would also welcome the idea. The Spanish government has called Catalan elections for December 21 as part of its imposition of direct rule on Catalonia.
“I identify with an idea of these characteristics, which rather than looking to the legitimate aspirations of each party rather seeks to protect the greater good in these elections, which is democracy”
Carles Puigdemont · Deposed Catalan president
Asked whether he would campaign from exile in Belgium, Puigdemont said he would like to “campaign from freedom”, above all the Catalan president called for “the minimum normality that can be expected in a democratic process,” for him and his imprisoned ministers. “What democracy is this in which you can only say what is in accordance with what the government thinks? No, no, democracy is about disagreeing, and openly, if necessary,” he said.
Also on Friday in Brussels, Puigdemont met MPs Anna Gabriel and Benet Salellas from the pro-independence CUP party. In fact, CUP is to hold a party assembly on Sunday in Granollers to decide whether to stand in the December election alone, as part of a left-wing coalition or a pro-independence front. In the previous Catalan parliament, which was dissolved by the central government when it imposed direct rule on Catalonia, CUP backed but did not join Puigdemont’s Together for Yes coalition.