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Catalan parliament accepts Puigdemont voting by proxy

Deposed president alleges his arrest in Germany puts him in same situation as jailed MPs allowed to cast their votes

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03 April 2018 12:10 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan parliament bureau has accepted Carles Puigdemont’s request to vote by proxy, a petition made by the deposed head of government after being detained in Germany over a week ago.

Puigdemont alleged that his detention puts him in the same situation as other Catalan MPs held behind bars in Spanish prisons, such as the deposed vice president Oriol Junqueras and the activist Jordi Sànchez, who have been allowed to vote by proxy.

Pushback from unionist parties and parliament lawyers

The Catalan leader’s request was accepted by the pro-independence parties, which have a narrow majority in the chamber and control the parliament bureau. It is yet to be seen whether the deposed president will effectively be able to cast his vote in the next plenary session.

The decision was criticized by the main unionist parties in the parliament bureau, Ciutadans and the Socialists, who voted against the proposal. Parliament lawyers warned that allowing Puigdemont to vote by proxy could contravene Spain’s Constitutional Court rulings.

Spain blocked Puigdemont's remote appointment as president

Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya ticket became the most voted pro-independence party in an election last December. Yet, the Constitutional Court blocked his appointment at a distance. Puigdemont aimed to retake office from Belgium, where he has been living since his dismissal by the Spanish government following a declaration of independence last October. So far, the deposed president has kept his seat in parliament, but has not been able to exercise his role as an MP.

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  • foto_3331369

  • An MP voting in the Catalan parliament (by Pere Francesch)