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Catalan separatist parties agree to present exiled Puigdemont as candidate for leader
BY 2018-01-17 10:37:43

MADRID, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Pro Catalan independence parties Junts per Cat (JpC) and Republican Left (ERC) reached agreement on Tuesday to present former leader Carles Puigdmont as their candidate to be elected as the leader of the region when the Catalan regional assembly sits for the first time following the Dec. 21 regional election.

The election saw JpC and ERC won 66 seats altogether, only two seats short of an overall majority in the 135-seat assembly, but they would achieve the majority with the support or abstention of radical separatist party CUP.

Puigdemont's nomination to the position, from which he was sacked when Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy used Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution in the wake of the unilateral declaration of independence made in the region in October is problematic, given that he is currently in a self-imposed exile in Belgium and would be arrested to face changes of rebellion, sedition, disobedience and misuse of public funds should he return to Spain.

Rajoy commented on Monday that his government would maintain Article 155 should Puigdemont be chosen to return to his former post. And according to Spanish media reports on Tuesday, the Spanish government would appeal against such an election to the Spanish Constitutional Court.

The lawyers of the Catalan assembly have also expressed their reserve about a possible long-distance investiture of Puigdemont as Catalan leader, insisting that the former leader has to be present in the Catalan Parliament building to be sworn in and that the act cannot be carried out by video-conference.

(Editor:Li Zhaoqi) (From:xinhua)
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