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Puigdemont proposed as Catalan leader

24 January 2018

The spokesman and member of Junts per Catalunya Elsa Artadi has confirmed this Friday that former president of Generalitat Carles Puigdemont is planning to travel to Denmark on Monday 22 January to participate in a debate on political situation of Catalonia in University of Copenhagen.

Carles Puigdemont, the sacked Catalan leader, was nominated yesterday as the next regional president, prompting another showdown between the separatists and Madrid.

The demand comes after the ousted Catalan president flew from Belgium to Denmark to take part in a conference on the future of Catalunya. Soon after, the Spanish government dissolved the Catalan government, dismissed its leaders and initiated legal proceedings against them.

Mr Torrent said Mr Puigdemont's candidacy to lead was "absolutely legitimate" despite the charges against him.

Puigdemont arrived in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, on Monday to talk at a university there and meet Danish lawmakers.

In Spain, the state prosecutor's office said it has asked the Supreme Court to approve a European arrest warrant for Mr Puigdemont's arrest.

On Monday, judge Pablo Llarena said a new request was "reasonable".

Spanish authorities are still investigating Catalan officials for possible rebellion and sedition charges. Madrid made the request following Puigdemont's first trip outside of Belgium.

"Facing the legal impossibility to be elected without being present at the Parliament, provoking his arrest overseas seeks to equip him with a justification that his absence is not a free decision as a fugitive, but the outcome of a situation that has been imposed on him", Llarena wrote in his decision rejecting the prosecutor's request to re-activate a European arrest warrant for Puigdemont. Torrent has the support of the two main pro-independence parties, Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia).

ERC's leader Oriol Junqueras is the only Catalan politician who remains in prison.

Puigdemont fled to Belgium after a referendum on Catalan independence last October, which resulted in the jailing of a number of his separatist colleagues.

Puigdemont proposed as Catalan leader