MADRID – A report by the Spanish government that analyzed Catalan regional parliamentary legislation concluded that the ousted president of the region, Carles Puigdemont, could not be invested via teleconference should he be re-elected to his post.
Puigdemont, who last year led the northeastern region through an independence referendum deemed illegal by the Spanish judiciary and subsequently unilaterally declared independence, fled to Belgium after Spain filed charges against him for alleged sedition and rebellion.
He was the current front-runner to take on the regional presidency again, after pro-independence parties emerged with a majority from the Dec. 21 regional elections, which were held after the Spanish Senate triggered Article 50 of the Constitution, dissolving parliament and reeling back the region’s autonomy.
Should he return to Spain, he would immediately be arrested, but separatists were investigating the possibility that he be invested via teleconference, a proposal that was knocked down in Thursday’s report.
The document argued that debates were a key part of an inauguration, which “required that all members be in the same place so they can be carried out normally.”
According to the report, Catalan legislation requires that the candidate to the presidency present their government program to parliament and request lawmakers’ backing.
The candidate intends to form a government whose members have an obligation to attend parliament in person, said the government report, so it would not make sense to not be physically present while requesting the presidency and being inaugurated.