Exiled former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, along with two of his former cabinet ministers, has been barred from standing in the European Parliament elections by Spain’s electoral authority.
The Catalan independence figurehead has been listed as the top candidate for the 26 May vote by his Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) party, which also includes his colleagues Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí.
However, unionists Ciudadanos (Cs) and the People’s Party (PP) objected to the trio running from Belgium, accusing them of being ‘state fugitives’, and filed an appeal to the Spanish Electoral Board.
In a joint statement, the three candidates have described the development as a ‘flagrant violation of the fundamental human right to stand in elections’ and said they will contest the decision.
‘This is more evidence of collusion between a judiciary that ought to be independent and certain members of the political system,’ they added, referencing the on-going Catalan trial in Madrid.
Junts per Catalunya is currently awaiting an explanation from the authority. It will have 48 hours to appeal the ruling, which came in the immediate aftermath of the Spanish general election.