Ex-Catalan president’s candidacy declared ineligible after petition from rightwing parties
'The former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and two of his former ministers are to be excluded from standing in next month’s European elections after Spain’s central electoral board upheld an appeal from two rightwing parties.
Puigdemont, who fled Spain to avoid arrest after his regional government’s unilateral independence referendum in October 2017, intended to run as a candidate in the European parliament elections for the Together for Catalonia platform.
Also on the list are former Catalan education minister Clara Ponsatí, and Toni Comín, who was health minister in Puigdemont’s administration.
But it emerged on Monday that the electoral board had accepted a petition from the conservative People’s party and centre-right Citizens party that the trio’s candidacies be declared ineligible because all three are “fugitives” abroad.
Puigdemont and Comín are in Belgium, while Ponsatí is in Scotland. They face arrest in Spain for their alleged roles in the referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.
A spokesman for Puigdemont said an appeal would be launched.
“Together for Catalonia – Free for Europe intends to respond to this brazen violation of their fundamental right to stand as candidates by taking any necessary legal actions in Spain and Europe to defend the rights of all three candidates and the right of voters to cast their vote for this republican list,” he said.'
Read more: Carles Puigdemont to be excluded from European elections