Spain to challenge Puigdemont’s remote appointment as president
Madrid cabinet official says it is “absurd” and “nonsense” to be sworn in without being in Catalonia
Carles Puigdemont’s attempt to be reinstated as Catalan president at a distance is set to be the reason for yet another judicial confrontation between the Catalan and Spanish administrations. Madrid will challenge his appointment if it is from Brussels via video or through an MP representing him, the Spanish government delegate in Catalonia said on Thursday. “Whoever tries to twist the legality for a partisan interest will face a government which will do the utmost to avoid it,” claimed Enric Millo on Thursday.
According to him, the Spanish cabinet will “make sure that Parliament regulations and democratic legality are fulfilled and that no one tries to bend the law to do the absurd.” Millo also branded a possible investiture from Brussels as “nonsense.”
Why swearing in Puigdemont at a distance?
Together for Catalonia’s Puigdemont is in the Belgian capital and has proposed to be reinstated as president from there via video or through an MP representing him. The other major pro-independence party, Esquerra Republicana, agreed to this possibility earlier this week. Puigdemont opted for this possibility because he has an arrest warrant hanging over him, so he is very likely to be arrested and jailed as soon as he sets foot in Catalonia.
"Whoever tries to twist the legality for a partisan interest will face a government which will do the utmost to avoid it"
Enric Millo · Spanish government delegate in Catalonia
Mariano Rajoy’s executive also made public on Thursday a report saying that the Catalan Parliament’s regulations do not allow the swearing in of a president at a distance. “This would question the Parliament’s existence itself as a physical body of representation for Catalan citizens.” The paper argues that the chamber’s regulations “do not provide” this option because swearing in a person is “intensely personal.”
“The candidate for president is expected to form a government whose members have the obligation to be present in the Parliament when requested, so it is not understandable he is unable to turn up when being sworn in,” adds the report made by the Spanish government. It also says that delegating the vote can only be made under “extraordinary situations,” such as maternity or paternity leaves, hospitalization or serious illness.