Catalan ex-leader Puigdemont can run in EU elections – courtroom


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Carles Puigdemont now lives in Belgium – dwelling of the EU establishments

The professional-independence former chief of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, can run for election to the European Parliament this month, a Madrid courtroom has dominated.

The ruling additionally applies to 2 different separatist Catalan politicians – Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí.

All three fled Spain in 2017, when Madrid moved to thwart Catalonia’s independence bid and prosecuted them.

Ms Ponsatí is in Scotland; the others are in Belgium. Spain accuses them of “insurrection” and abuse of public funds.

Final month Spain’s central election fee, the JEC, had barred the three from showing on the poll, arguing that they weren’t residing in Spain.

The JEC choice adopted a grievance from two Spanish events against Catalan independence: the conservative In style Occasion (PP) and pro-business Ciudadanos.

Nevertheless, the JEC additionally admitted that the cost of “insurrection” was not listed within the electoral legislation amongst potential causes for barring a candidate from the European elections.

Authorized minefield

Underneath EU legislation, parliamentary immunity covers MEPs as soon as they’ve been elected to the European Parliament and are exercising their duties.

However the clauses on immunity, in Protocol 7 of the EU Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, don’t cowl a candidate previous to his/her affirmation as an elected MEP.

So the Catalan candidates may nonetheless face arrest in Spain in the event that they go dwelling to marketing campaign forward of the 26 Could election.

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Mr Comín (L) and Ms Ponsatí (R) have been within the separatist Catalan authorities led by Mr Puigdemont

Additionally they refuse to recognise the Spanish structure, making it problematic for them to function Spanish MEPs.

Mr Puigdemont was in triumphant temper, in a tweet (in Catalan), saying “there is superb authorized work behind every victory achieved”.

He and the opposite Catalan separatists are within the pro-independence coalition Junts per Catalunya (JuntsXCat). They intention to affix a pan-European parliamentary group representing nationalists, known as European Free Alliance (EFA).

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