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Puigdemont cannot rule Catalonia from abroad: Madrid

Updated January 13, 2018

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MADRID: The Spanish government dismissed outright on Friday the possibility of former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont ruling the region from self-imposed exile in Brussels, and said Madrid would contest any attempt to do so in the courts.

Catalan separatists agreed on Wednesday to try to re-elect Puigdemont as regional leader, raising the scenario of the fugitive former leader governing by video link from Belgium. He faces arrest in Spain for sedition and rebellion.

“Parliamentary rules are very clear,” said Spanish government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo at a weekly press conference. “They do not contemplate the possibility of a (parliamentary) presence that is not in person.”

“This aspiration is a fallacy, it’s totally unrealistic and it goes against the rule books and common sense,” he added.

Puigdemont spearheaded a movement last year for Catalonia to split from Spain, culminating in Mad­rid sacking his administration.

He moved to Brussels afterwards.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2018

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