Catalonia to elect old leader
12 January, 2018
Catalonia's main separatist parties last Wednesday agreed to re-elect fugitive Carles Puigdemont as regional president later this month, news wires reported. A spokesman of Puigdemont's Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) said that the separatist politician secured the backing of the left-republican ERC party. Puigdemont (pictured), who has been in Brussels since he was sacked in October over an attempt to secede from Spain, faces immediate arrest if he returns home. Ines Arrimadas, the leader of the anti-independence Ciutadans (Citizens) party, which won most votes in snap regional elections on 21 December, but not enough to form a government, said “a person who is fleeing justice can't be the president.”
The main separatist parties jointly hold 66 of the 135 seats in the regional chamber and can add the support of four anti-establishment lawmakers. Their dominance, however, depends on jailed or fugitive elected lawmakers who won't be able to vote, unless they are released or give up their seats to someone else on the party list.