Catalonia’s ex-president Carles Puigdemont is eligible to run in EU polls, the Spain’s Supreme Court ruled. There had been no grounds to bar separatists’ leader and his colleagues, Toni Comin and Clara Ponsati.
Despite Carles Puigdemont’s fleeing to Belgium in 2017 after a secession attempt, he is still able to run the EU polls, according to the Supreme Court. The same is able to do Toni Comin and Clara Ponsati, the politicians who sat in the regional government during the independence bid and fled.
Spain’s Supreme Court based its verdict on the fact that contesting an election was “a fundamental right” recognised by the constitution and that fleeing the country was not a cause for ineligibility. Thus, all three separatists could relaize that their right.
In the light of the Court’s verdict, raises questions over whether fugitive Puigdemont, Ponsati and Comin will be able to sit in the European Parliament if elected on May 26th. All three separatists were a part of a push to hold an independence referendum in October 2017 in defiance of a court ban. That sparked kingdom’s deepest political crisis in decades, while rest of Catalan leaders who remained in Spain are now on trial in Madrid over their role in the secession bid.
Meanwhile, Carles Puigdemont insists he will have immunity as soon as he is elected, which would mean he would avoid arrest. The EU parliament, however, says that immunity only kicks in once the national electoral board confirms a candidate as MEP. Will Spanish NEB do that for fugitive Catalan leader?