Spain ‘will not consent’ to swearing in Sànchez from prison
With Puigdemont’s alternative for president behind bars, Spanish government rejects proposal as “against all logic”
While the Spanish government welcomed Carles Puigdemont’s decision to step aside as the candidate for the Catalan presidency, it is not thrilled with his proposal that jailed MP Jordi Sànchez take his place. A spokesman for Mariano Rajoy’s executive said on Friday that the government “will not consent” to any form of remote investiture or swearing-in through a representative. Former activist leader Sànchez has so far been held in custody for 136 days while awaiting trial to face charges of sedition and rebellion.
Government spokesman Íñigo Méndez de Vigo and justice minister Rafael Catalá appeared before the press on Friday afternoon to respond to the proposal that Sànchez, who ran as a candidate on Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya ticket in the December election, should take the dismissed leader’s place as the presidential candidate. Català said that whether Sànchez remains behind bars depends on the Supreme Court judge overseeing his case, while swearing him in from prison “goes against all logic.”
“Governing is very complicated, it requires a lot of time, and so governing part-time because one is in prison, or in another country as a fugitive from justice does not add up”
Íñigo Méndez de Vigo · Spanish government spokesman
Spokesman Méndez de Vigo warned that his government will not put up with a “farce.” “Governing is very complicated, it requires a lot of time, and so governing part-time because one is in prison, or in another country as a fugitive from justice does not add up,” he said. The spokesman also referred to the creation of the Council of the Republic in Brussels, where Puigdemont has been since October. “Parallel state structures do not exist,” he said, adding that “the only structures are those established by the 1978 Constitution and the corresponding Statute of Autonomy.”
Finally, Méndez de Vigo dismissed the official complaint against the Spanish authorities that Puigdemont’s legal team will present to the UN, alleging the infringement of his civil and political rights. “If there is one thing that has become clear in the past few months is that Puigdemont’s claims have found no echo among the international community,” said the spokesman, who also pointed out that “despite them telling us otherwise” the repercussions have been “zero.”