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Esquerra demands “realism” amid debate on president appointment

While Puigdemont says vetoing him taking office remotely would be a “democratic fraud,” Ciutadans brands this possible move as a “joke”

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13 January 2018 03:20 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Esquerra Republicana, the second most voted pro-independence party in the Catalan chamber, wants to face the upcoming crucial weeks with realism. Its secretary general, Marta Rovira, called the forces for a Catalan state this Saturday morning to “face all difficulties with absolute realism.” She made these remarks amid the debate on the appointment of a Catalan president taking place.

Why Puigdemont cannot be sworn in ordinarily as Catalan president

Carles Puigdemont, the deposed Catalan president, hopes to be reinstated in the post, and Esquerra supports him. Yet he is in Brussels, risking to be arrested and jailed in the event he sets foot in Catalonia. He plans to be sworn in remotely from the Belgian capital via video or through an MP representing him in the debate to pick a president. But it is unclear whether it will be possible, as the Parliament regulations do not specify this option.

Rovira also urged to “recover the Catalan institutions as a matter of urgency” in order to put an end to Article 155, that is, direct rule of the country from Madrid. Mariano Rajoy’s unprecedented measures against Catalonia’s self-rule will be applied until a new president and government are appointment, so if Puigdemont is unable to take office by proxy at the end of January –when the debate to pick a president is expected– Article 155 enforcement will continue.

Spanish possible veto would be a "democratic fraud," says Puigdemont

Also this Saturday, Puigdemont called to go ahead to his appointment to fulfill the “democratic orders” made by voters in the election on December 21. He admitted that there is a debate concerning the Parliament regulations, which is “interesting,” but added that it is for elected MPs to protect the “rights of citizens.” He also branded a possible Spanish veto of his remote appointment as a “democratic fraud.”

Ciutadans rejects an appointment "through Skype or WhatsApp"

While the Spanish government said on Friday that it is likely to challenge this possible move, the main unionist party in Catalonia, Ciutadans, said that it might submit an appeal to the Spanish Constitutional Court in this event. For a Ciutadans official, the fact that Puigdemont can be reinstated as president “from Brussels through Skype or WhatsApp” is a “joke”.

 

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  • Marta Rovira, in a party officials meeting on January 13, 2018 (by Mar Martí)

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