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The return of Puigdemont to the Government depends on the votes, the arrest order of the 'process' and the amnesty deadlines

MADRID, 21 Mar.

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The return of Puigdemont to the Government depends on the votes, the arrest order of the 'process' and the amnesty deadlines


In the event that the leader of Junts, Carles Puigdemont, gathers the necessary votes to once again preside over the Generalitat of Catalonia, his investiture will depend on the national arrest warrant that he has active for the cause of the 'procés', the processing deadlines of the amnesty law that is in the hands of the Senate and its subsequent application by the judges.

After the official announcement this Thursday that Puigdemont will be 'number one' on the Junts lists for the next Catalan elections, a series of scenarios and their respective legal doubts are opening up. Specifically, because the former Catalan president and MEP has had to appear before the Spanish Justice since 2017 - when the Supreme Court prosecuted him in absentia in the procedure related to the 'procés' - and the law that aims to forgive more has not yet been approved. of a decade of the Catalan independence process.

Puigdemont can run in the Catalan elections whenever he does not meet the ineligibility requirements set out in the Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime (LOREG). He is not serving a prison sentence or disqualification for any conviction, nor has he ever been convicted of crimes of terrorism or rebellion.

It is worth remembering that the Junts leader already appeared without problems in the 2017 and 2021 elections, when he was also being prosecuted in absentia for the 'procés' cause.

The leader of Junts can be a candidate for the elections in Catalonia and a MEP. Of course, if he gathers sufficient support at the polls, once he accepts the act of deputy in the Parliament he automatically loses his status as a MEP.

By losing his seat in the European Parliament, he would no longer have immunity as a European parliamentarian and would no longer have jurisdiction before the Supreme Court (TS) and would now have jurisdiction before the Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) of Catalonia - for being a member of the Parliament - .

However, the Statute specifies in its article 57.2 that the TSJ is competent in cases against deputies, but "outside the territory of Catalonia, criminal liability is enforceable under the same terms before the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court."

The Constitutional Court (TC) already ruled on this matter in 2018 at the request of the central Executive. That time, he suspended the Law of the Presidency of the Generalitat and the Government of Catalonia that would have allowed Puigdemont's investiture electronically.

In 2019, the court of guarantees ruled on the merits of the issue and annulled the rule, understanding that "an investiture in which the candidate did not appear in person before the Chamber to request its confidence would be contrary (to the Fundamental Law)."

Sources from Puigdemont's defense consulted by Europa Press, however, emphasize that the world has changed since then and even the TC holds telematic plenary sessions.

On this point, it is worth remembering that Puigdemont currently has a national arrest warrant issued by the investigating judge of the 'procés' in the Supreme Court, Judge Pablo Llarena, for disobedience and embezzlement.

Thus, he could be arrested upon stepping on Spanish soil if at that time the amnesty law has not come into force, which establishes that the judges and magistrates who hear the cases affected by the rule have to lift the precautionary measures, as is the case of arrest warrants.

Sources from the former president's defense trust that the judges will lift these orders while they process their doubts before the Constitutional Court (TC) or the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), because, although they assume that the judges will have "legitimate" doubts Regarding the application of the law, they maintain that this should not affect the lifting of the precautionary measures. Even so, they recognize that there are no guarantees.

It must be added, however, that Puigdemont accumulates a new judicial front since the Supreme Court opened a criminal case against him for terrorism in the 'Democratic Tsunami' case. At the moment, the instructor Susana Polo has not ordered any proceedings in this procedure.

Parliamentary sources consulted by Europa Press indicate that the deadline being considered in Catalonia for the constitution of the Parliament is June 10. In the case of the investiture, the deadline is June 25.

The Senate has two months - until May 15 - to process and definitively approve or return to Congress the amnesty bill. Assuming that the text is approved and sent to the Lower House for final approval, it is expected to come into force at the end of May.