Catalan Parliament is looking for a presidential substitute for Puigdemont
Share article:
Share article:

Catalan Parliament is looking for a presidential substitute for Puigdemont

© Belga
© Belga

The Catalan Parliament president began party consultations Monday in Barcelona, looking for a new presidential candidate for the region, after the withdrawal of the separatist leader Carles Puigdemont. The former Catalan president – deposed by the Spanish government after the symbolic declaration of an independent “Catalan Republic” on 27 October – announced Thursday from Belgium, where he is in exile, that he renounced to running again for the regional presidency.

Being prosecuted in Spain for “rebellion” and “sedition,” Mr. Puigdemont had first to hand himself over to justice if he wanted to participate in the nomination debate in Parliament, according to the conditions laid down by the Constitutional Court. He finally withdrew his candidacy in order to facilitate, he said, the quick formation of an independent government in Catalonia.

The Regional Parliament’s president, the separatist Roger Torrent, was supposed to meet on Monday with representatives of the seven parliamentary groups before designating a new candidate for the nomination.

The only proposed name to this day within the separatist camp — which holds the seats’ majority in the Regional Assembly — is Jordi Sanchez, elected deputy on 21 December on Mr. Puigdemont’s list. However, his nomination seems to be just as problematic as Mr. Puigdemont’s.

The former president of the influential independent association ANC, Mr. Sanchez has been convicted of sedition and incarcerated. He would need the authorization of the Supreme Court in order to leave prison and defend his program in front of the regional deputies.

Furthermore, the smallest of the three Catalan independent parties, the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP, 4 deputies, far left), has announced that it would stand in the way of Mr. Sanchez’s nomination, in absence of a commitment by his allies to advance unilaterally towards secession.

The four CUP deputies would then abstain during the nomination vote. This, normally, should not be a problem for the other two separatist parties. Together for Catalonia and the Republican Left of Catalonia, which total 66 votes versus 65 on the opposing side.

However, Mr. Puigdemont and another Catalan deputy, Toni Comin, are in Belgium and cannot participate in the vote: therefore, their candidate, Jordi Sanchez, will not have the necessary support.

Catalonia, where 7.5 million Spanish live, remains placed under Madrid’s direct administration since 27 October.


The Brussels Times

Latest news

New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...
More than 1 in 4 Belgians use mobile phones whilst driving
A recent European study into the use of mobile phones whilst driving highlights some alarming results: 26% of Belgians read or send messages on their ...
Belgium in Brief: Memories Of Masks
Belgium's experts are concerned with the rising coronavirus figures. One possible solution could be that, once again, masks are used more widely. ...
Museum Nights Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Nights Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 32 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than €1.5 billion injected into SNCB
More than €1.5 billion in additional funding has been injected into the Belgian railways, Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet told the House ...
Non-vaccinated applicants no longer welcome at ZNA hospitals in Antwerp
The Antwerp hospital group ZNA is only taking on new employees who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to reporting from VRT. ...
Pharmacies prepare to administer more rapid antigen tests
From November, anyone presenting coronavirus symptoms for less than six days will be able to take a rapid antigen test in a pharmacy, announced the ...
Chocolate, Christmas, and cocaine
Do you consider yourself a news buff? Someone constantly on top of what's going on? Then maybe you have what it takes to ace The Brussels Times ...
Introduction of Covid Safe Ticket leads more in Brussels to get vaccinated
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Brussels-Capital Region on 15 October seems to have led to a higher number of residents ...
More and more testimonies, and a second rally against sexual violence in Brussels
A second rally against sexual violence was held in the Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles on Thursday evening, and a sister-rally was held ...
Over 1,000 Covid-19 hospitalisations for first time since early June
The number of patients hospitalised in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus has again exceeded 1,000, climbing to 1,032, according to figures ...
Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...