Ousted Cata­lan Leader’s Come­back Bid De­layed

Iran News - - INTERNATIONAL -

MADRID (Dis­patches) - For­mer Cata­lan leader Car­les Puigde­mont faces ar­rest if he re­turns to Spain for lead­ing the secession bid in the wealthy north­west­ern re­gion that is home to some 7.5 mil­lion peo­ple

The speaker of Cat­alo­nia’s par­lia­ment post­poned a crunch vote Tues­day to for­mally re-elect ousted pres­i­dent Car­les Puigde­mont into of­fice, de­lay­ing his con­tro­ver­sial come­back bid.

But Roger Tor­rent de­fended Puigde­mont’s right to be re-elected by Cata­lan law­mak­ers de­spite a court ban af­ter sep­a­ratist par­ties won a ma­jor­ity in De­cem­ber elec­tions and the for­mer re­gional leader was of­fi­cially nom­i­nated as can­di­date for the pres­i­dency.

“To­day’s ple­nary ses­sion... is post­poned,” he told reporters, say­ing he wanted to en­sure an “ef­fec­tive” pre-vote par­lia­men­tary de­bate with all le­gal “guar­an­tees” in place.

Puigde­mont, who left for Bel­gium shortly af­ter Cat­alo­nia’s par­lia­ment de­clared in­de­pen­dence in Oc­to­ber, faces ar­rest if he re­turns to Spain for lead­ing the secession bid in the wealthy north­east­ern re­gion that is home to some 7.5 mil­lion peo­ple.

Cata­lan law­mak­ers had been due to for­mally vote him into of­fice on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

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