Puigdemont withdraws petition to delegate vote
Pro-independence leader is the nominated candidate in the debate to pick a new Catalan president to be held by January 31
Carles Puigdemont has withdrawn his petition to delegate his vote in the upcoming parliamentary debate to pick a Catalan president to be held by January 31 -the exact date will probably be unveiled on Thursday-. A source in his Together for Catalonia candidacy told the Catalan News Agency that they do not rule out “any scenario,” not even Puigdemont turning up in the chamber in Barcelona.
The Catalan Parliament president, Roger Torrent, nominated Puigdemont as candidate for president on Monday, after speaking with representatives of all parties. Puigdemont is currently living in Brussels, although he is spending some days in Denmark this week.
The dangers of turning up in Parliament
An arrest warrant in Spain is hanging over his head, making it highly likely that he would be be arrested and jailed if he sets foot in Catalonia again. This is why Puigdemont suggested earlier this month being sworn in as president at a distance from Belgium, either via video or through an MP representing him. Yet the Spanish government has already announced that it will challenge such a move if the new Parliament president allows an investiture by proxy.
Puigdemont had asked to delegate his vote on January 18, something Madrid also denied the MPs who are in Belgium –although not for the three in prison. The other four MPs in Brussels, all of whom are dismissed Catalan ministers, also asked to delegate their votes but so far have not withdrawn these petitions. Puigdemont has not unveiled his latest plans to be reinstated as president in the upcoming session in Parliament.
Spanish court rejects reissuing arrest warrant
The deposed head of the Catalan executive is now in Denmark after travelling there from Belgium on Monday. His lawyer said that the trip was “fairly high” risk, because once he was in the Nordic country, Spain could reissue the European arrest warrant against him that it withdrew in December. Yet in the end, the Spanish Supreme Court decided not to do so and Puigdemont is free to travel throughout the EU – except for Spain, where the arrest warrant is still effective.