The Spanish government on Friday asked the country’s Constitutional Court to block Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont’s bid to become the region’s president again, Reuters reported. Puigdemont fled to Belgium in October after declaring Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
Puigdemont faces arrest in Spain for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds to break Catalonia from Spain. “A person who is wanted in national territory for such serious crimes cannot try to be sworn in as head of the Catalan government, without having faced up to his responsibilities with the law,” Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said according to AFP.
“The state must use every tool made available by the laws and the constitution to make sure that a fugitive cannot be sworn in and become the head of the regional government,” the deputy prime minister added.
Separatist parties won most of the seats in Catalonia’s regional parliamentary elections earlier in January. Roger Torrent, the newly elected speaker of the Catalan Parliament, appointed Puigdemont as the sole candidate for regional leader on January 22. The Catalan Parliament is set to vote on January 30 on Puigdemont’s candidature.
Reacting to the government’s appeal to the Constitutional Court on Friday, Puigdemont tweeted, “[Spain is] isolated physically, legally and democratically. They are panicking in the face of the will of the people.”