Court ruling pressures fugitive Catalan leader to return to Spain

The newly elected speaker of the Catalan parliament, Roger Torrent, last week named Puigdemont as the candidate to head the Catalan government after separatist parties again won an absolute majority in the Catalan parliament in a December regional election.

Court ruling pressures fugitive Catalan leader to return to Spain

World Bulletin / News Desk

Catalonia's fugitive separatist leader Carles Puigdemont was under pressure Sunday to return to Spain after the country's top court ruled he could not govern the region from abroad.

Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium in October after the Catalan parliament declared independence, would in the "coming hours" ask the Supreme Court for permission to attend a debate and vote in the Catalan parliament Tuesday on his bid to form a new government, a lawmaker with his Together for Catalonia party, Josep Rull, told Catalan radio.

However, he faces arrest for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds over his attempt to break Catalonia away from Spain as soon as he returns.

Puigdemont had said he could be sworn in to office via videoconference from Brussels, a plan Spain's central government opposes.

Puigdemont's supporters have said that he could rule from abroad by video link but has said he would rather return to Spain as long as he is given guarantees that he will not be arrested.

But Spain's Consitutional Court late Saturday ruled Puigdemont must return to the country and be present in the regional parliament to receive the authority to form a new government.

The court said that its 11 magistrates had decided unanimously "to preventively suspend the investiture of Puigdemont unless he appears in the (regional) parliament in person with prior judicial authorisation".

It also warned all members of the Catalan parliament of "their responsibilities" and warned against disobeying the order to suspend any investiture.

The magistrates said they needed six more days to consider a government bid to annul the nomination of Puigdemont as a candidate for the regional presidency.



Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ocak 2018, 15:58