#Catalonia parties propose self-exiled former leader as president
#Catalonia parties propose self-exiled former leader as president
Carles Puigdemont could be re-elected as Catalonia’s president
12 January, 2018, 20:14
Under the agreement between Mr Puigdemont's Junts per Catalunya party (Together for Catalonia) and the Catalan Republic Left, the fugitive politician would be installed at a meeting of the parliament next week.
Pro-independence parties achieved a slim majority of seats but they failed to get over 50% of the popular vote, bringing no resolution to months of a increasingly bitter impasse.
However, it remains to be seen just how Puigdemont could be re-invested as Catalan leader less than three months after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy temporarily suspended Catalan autonomy and Puigdemont sought exile in Belgium.
In a Catalan election December 21, the three main separatist parties won 70 of the 135 seats in the regional Parliament, with 47.5 percent of the vote - nearly identical to the result in 2015.
"The Dec. 21 result gave us the mandate to reflect the majority".
Those leaders remain out of the country, and Puigdemont has said if he's re-elected, he would discharge his duties remotely, via a video linkup such as Skype.
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He faces charges of sedition, rebellion, disobedience and misuse of public funds in Spain in the wake of the independence referendum on October 1st and the unilateral declaration of independence in the region on October 27th.
Dismissing the suggestion, the leader of the anti-independence Ciutadans (Citizens) party said "a person who is fleeing justice can't be the president".
Ines Arrimadas added: "It's evident that for governing Catalonia you have to be in Catalonia - you can't do that via WhatsApp or as a hologram". Insisting that such methods would be illegal, Mr Maillo said anything other than a traditional investiture - in which a president presented himself and his programme to parliament for a vote - would be "a real mockery, first of the Catalans, and then of the rest of the parliamentary groups".
Former Catalan President Artur Mas said on Tuesday he would step down as head of his separatist political party to pave the way for new leaders of Catalonia's independence movement after reports of internal divisions. On Friday, judges from the Spanish Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the Esquerra leader, Oriol Junqueras, who has been in jail in Madrid since early November, pending his trial on corruption and sedition charges.
The plan may offer a way out of the chaos surrounding the formation of a new Catalan government at a time when many of its senior candidates are either in jail or facing prosecution.
In an editorial published on the Politico news website on Wednesday, Puigdemont reiterated his call for talks with Madrid, which Rajoy has tentatively agreed to but on condition that the region drop its push for independence.
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