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undergroundnewsroom.com November 21, 2017


Deposed Catalan Leader Says, 'Ready To Run' In Regional Elections

05 November 2017, 02:21 | Damon Campbell

Getty Images

Getty Images

Carmen Lamela, a judge in Spain's National Court, on Friday asked Belgium's prosecutor's office to arrest Puidgemont and four ministers in the dissolved Catalan government who ignored a court order to appear before a judge on Thursday, reports CNN.

"It is time for all democrats to join together".

The ousted leader of Catalonia remained the subject of a European arrest warrant Saturday as questions mounted over how long he would elude the Spanish justice system by staying undercover in Belgium and delaying extradition.

Puigdemont and his allies failed to appear at a high court hearing in Madrid on Thursday.

The former Catalan leader, who is now in Belgium, has left Spain after authorities in Madrid dismissed him and his administration and set a date for a snap election in Catalonia over the declaration of the autonomous region's independence. "For Catalonia, for the freedom of political prisoners and the Republic", he wrote, endorsing calls for pro-secession political parties to unite in a coalition for the forthcoming poll.

Puigdemont didn't elaborate or say where he is.

Puigdemont said yesterday that he was ready to run as a candidate in the election - which he can do even if detained - and today called for separatist parties to form a united front.

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Embroiled in Spain's gravest political crisis since the return of democracy in the late 1970s, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called the election when he took control of Catalonia in response to last week's declaration of independence by its parliament.

In a tweet, he referred to an online petition calling for the creation of a combined independent candidate list, which by today afternoon had received over 50,000 signatures.

New regional elections are set for December 21.

"Elections here can only happen here if we say they do", Rovira said.

If an arrest warrant is issued, Puigdemont will fight extradition without seeking political asylum, according to his Belgian lawyer.

In the Basque city of Bilbao in northern Spain, several thousand people marched Saturday despite the rain to protest the intervention of the Spanish government in Catalonia's self-rule.



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