Ousted Catalonia Officials to Stand in Dec. Elections

Ousted Catalonia Officials to Stand in Dec. ElectionsOusted Catalonia Officials to Stand in Dec. Elections

Deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said ousted Catalan officials will stand in the December 21 elections imposed by Madrid, and that they will respect the outcome.

The sacked regional president arrived at Brussels Press Club for a news conference on Tuesday, amid speculation he and his ministers would seek political asylum in Belgium, which he said was not their intent, Al Jazeera reported.

"On Friday, after the declaration of independence, we assumed dialogue was impossible," Puigdemont said in Catalan, adding that his government tried to engage in dialogue since the dispute began.

The Spanish government dismissed the Catalan regional leadership on Saturday after lawmakers approved the application of Article 155 of the constitution, which allowed Madrid to assume control of Catalonia.

Puigdemont said he and his government were the "legitimate" representatives of the Catalan people.

The former Catalan government and select members of the parliament were charged by the Spanish prosecutor with sedition, rebellion and more on Monday.

Puigdemont and five former ministers of the regional Catalan government appeared yesterday in the Belgian capital, to the surprise of many.

The dismissed politicians were expected to apply for political asylum, though Puigdemont said that was not his intent.

Puigdemont detailed goals that his dismissed government would pursue from Belgium: "A part of the [the Catalan government] has moved to Brussels to make evident the Catalan problem in the heart of Europe," he continued.

Puigdemont went on to say the government would support efforts to avoid the destruction of Catalan institutions that could result from the application of Article 155, and that his party, the Catalan Democratic Party, would participate in the December 21 regional elections called by the Spanish government.

Puigdemont called for Europe to respond to the Catalan crisis, saying the "case of Catalonia is the case of the values on which Europe is based".

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints