Catalonia's Former President Might Ask To Be Let Back Into Spain


But in a major setback for the central government, separatist parties won 70 of the 135 seats in Catalonia's regional parliament - two less than in the 2015 election - during last month's snap election although did not win a majority of the votes.

But on Tuesday morning, Catalan parliamentary speaker Roger Torrent announced his decision to put the investiture on hold, while insisting that Mr Puigdemont remained the candidate to be president.

The decision to postpone the session was widely praised by members of Mr Torrent's own Catalan Republican Left (ERC), but other pro-independence politicians were critical of it.

Torrent said: "I am not proposing any other candidate apart from Puigdemont".

As long as there is no government in Catalonia, the Spanish national government is set to maintain the direct control of the region that it took past year in response to the region's deceleration of independence in October.

Central authorities in Spain are welcoming the decision to postpone a Catalan parliamentary session meant to re-elect the Spanish region's fugitive former president.

What's next for Catalonia and would-be leader Puigdemont?
Roger Torrent delays confidence debate in Puigdemont

Puigdemont is one of more than a dozen Catalan political figures facing possible rebellion and sedition charges following the previous parliament's illegal and unsuccessful declaration of independence in October, which brought Spain's worst political crisis in decades to a head. But on Saturday, a Spanish court ruled he can't be sworn in while overseas.

But the Constitutional Court ruled on Saturday that Puigdemont can not receive the authority to form a government unless he is present in parliament with a judge's permission to attend.

"The Spanish government and the constitutional court aim to violate the rights of millions of Catalans and this we will not accept".

Shortly before Torrent's address, Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, said any attempt to invest Puigdemont remotely would constitute a clear violation of the constitutional court's ruling.

And last night rumours were swirling that he could make a surprise return to Spain, risking arrest.

Support for Puigdemenot and the separatist cause in general remains strong, and Madrid's position has hardly changed, giving protesters ample reason to come out on the streets and demonstrate.

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