'Puigdemont's destiny is to be a fugitive or a prisoner', says Spain's ruling PP
Fernando Martínez-Maíllo, coordinator of the Spanish conservatives, insists the Catalan leader will not be reinstated as president
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont's "destiny" is to be "a fugitive or a prisoner", according to a leading figure of Spain's ruling party, Fernando Martínez-Maíllo. During an event in the northern region of Cantabria, PP's party coordinator Martínez-Maíllo insisted that Puigdemont won't be reelected as Catalan president as the Spanish government "will continue to use all necessary means to guarantee that Catalonia has a government that respects the law and the Constitution."
Puigdemont leads the main pro-independence party in Catalonia, and a majority of MPs support his candidacy to become president. However, he is in Belgium and if he sets foot in Spain, he would be immediately arrested. The Spanish Constitutional Court and the Spanish government have also warned that he cannot be reelected from Brussels. Spain's Supreme Court dropped in December a European Arrest Warrant against him, but is keeping a Spanish one.
According Martínez-Maíllo, a leading figure in the Spanish president Mariano Rajoy's political party, Catalonia should soon have a government with a president that "respects the law." In fact, Martínez-Maíllo urged Ciutadans (C's) to try a form an alternative majority to govern Catalonia, even if this means working with left-wing Podemos.
He said that the leader of C's, Inés Arrimadas, should make sure that her victory in the Catalan election does not become a "useless victory". Arrimada's C's was the most voted party in the Catalan election but does not command a majority in Parliament as unionists forces, even all together, have less seats than pro-independence parties. Only with the support of left-wing Catalunya-En Comú, a party closely linked to Spain's Podemos, could Arrimadas have a chance to become president. However, Catalunya-En Comú, which favors a referendum but not independence, has already ruled out working with C's.