21st July 2019
Puigdemont and Torra in Brussels
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Puigdemont appeals ban on standing in EU elections

The Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) party is appealing the decision by Spain’s electoral authority (JEC) to bar former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, and his former ministers Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí, from standing in the European elections on 26 May.

The pro-independence party, of which Puigdemont is the leader, is to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court on the grounds that it infringes the ‘basic rights’ of the prospective candidates, who went into exile abroad following a declaration of independence in 2017.

Puigdemont’s lawyer Gonzalo Boye, who is temporarily standing in for his client as the main JxCat candidate until the matter is resolved, says that if necessary the party will take the issue to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg.

Puigdemont and Torra in Brussels
Carles Puigdemont (left) and Quim Torra protest outside the European Commission in Brussels. (ACN)

‘The Electoral Authority is making the legality up and its ruling is arbitrary, and it goes against both Spanish and European law, and is against the international conventions to which Spain is subscribed,’ said Boye.

JxCat, along with fellow pro-independence parties, Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and the CUP, and the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Òmnium Cultural, and the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), have called for demonstrations around Catalonia on Friday to protest the authority’s ruling.

Under the slogan ‘Pels drets civils i polítics: Prou manipulació electoral’ (‘For civil and political rights: Enough electoral manipulation’), the protests in Barcelona, Tarragona and Girona outside Spanish government buildings will begin at 7pm.

On Thursday, the current Catalan president, Quim Torra, together with Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí, protested together outside the European Commission building in Brussels to defend the rights of the ‘exiles’ to stand in the upcoming EU elections.

The event organised by the Brussels branch of the ANC was also attended by the organisation’s head, Elisenda Paluzie, as well as the Catalan government’s delegate to the European Union, Meritxell Serret.

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