Catalan Separatists Back Puigdemont, Reviving Prospect Of Independence Push

Catalan Separatists Back Puigdemont, Reviving Prospect Of Independence Push

Catalonia's two largest pro-independence parties have cut a deal that could see Carles Puigdemont re-elected as the region's president.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called for the Catalan parliament to be formed on January 17.

"This new stage requires new leaders, it is necessary to leave open spaces so that certain people can lead this project for the future", Mas told a news conference.

Pro-independence parties secured a slim majority of seats but failed to win more than 50 percent of the popular vote, meaning there is still no end in sight to the months-long, and increasingly bitter, impasse.

A spokesman with Puigdemont's Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) ticket said that the separatist politician secured the backing of the left-republican ERC party Tuesday evening in Brussels.

Catalonian separatists have chose to reelect Carles Puigdemont as their regional leader when the new regional parliament meets for the first time on January 17.

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He faces charges of sedition, rebellion, disobedience and misuse of public funds in Spain in the wake of the independence referendum on October 1st and the unilateral declaration of independence in the region on October 27th.

Ines Arrimadas added: "It's evident that for governing Catalonia you have to be in Catalonia - you can't do that via WhatsApp or as a hologram".

Forcadell was a key figure among Catalan leaders who attempted to break away from Spain, a process that culminated with the regional parliament declaring unilateral independence on October 27. Insisting that such methods would be illegal, Mr Maillo said anything other than a traditional investiture - in which a president presented himself and his programme to parliament for a vote - would be "a real mockery, first of the Catalans, and then of the rest of the parliamentary groups". However, it could take months for a new government to emerge.

Some of Mr Pugidemont's political allies are in jail on similar charges, having been arrested as he fled.

The parties' announcement Wednesday raises the specter of a renewed push for independence - and also raises hard questions about how, exactly, Puigdemont might go about governing.

The other main potential candidate to represent the pro-independence parties would be ERC leader Oriol Junqueras, who is serving a custodial sentence in a Madrid jail. Spain responded by sacking Puigdemont and his government, dissolved the local parliament and called a new election December 21.

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