Puigdemont drops his bid for Catalonia leadership

Elias Hubbard
March 31, 2018

The regional parliament spent the day supporting Puigdemont. "I know that the path we have ahead is long and fraught with difficulties". The separatist leader has been living in Belgium under self-imposed exile to avoid imprisonment.

He said he made the decision so that a new regional government can be launched as soon as possible.

JxCat had suggested the presidency in Catalonia could go to Sànchez, who has been held in Soto del Real prison without trial for four months facing allegations of rebellion and sedition.

He is now recommending Jordi Sanchez, a former head of a pro-secession group, as an alternate candidate.

In the video, Puigdemont called it unconstitutional to continue holding Catalan politicians in jail over their calls for the region's independence. The court said the regional president must physically be in parliament to take office.

Speaking from Brussels last night, Puigdemont said he was presenting a complaint against Spain to the United Nations over alleged violations of fundamental rights. Rumours of his appointment previously prompted the Minister of Justice, Rafael Catala, to say it was hard to imagine a president who was "in prison".

Puigdemont defied the warning of the central Spanish government and, after a referendum, unilaterally declared independence for Catalonia in October, leading to police violence and a takeover of the Catalan government by Madrid. Puigdemont was at the forefront of the movement for Catalonia's independence from Spain that led to massive protests in 2017 and resulted in the country's worst political crisis in decades.

"These instruments expressly recognise the right to self-determination".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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