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Former Catalan president to leave politics if he doesn’t win regional elections

Former Catalan president and leader of the right-wing separatist Together for Catalonia (JxCat), Carles Puigdemont, will quit politics if he does not win the snap regional elections on 12 May

By: EBR - Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2024

In an interview broadcast by RAC-1 radio on Tuesday, Puigdemont, who has been in self-exile in Belgium since 2017 and moved to the south of France at Easter, said he did not see himself “as the head of the opposition” in Catalonia, declaring he would leave active politics if he were not elected president.
In an interview broadcast by RAC-1 radio on Tuesday, Puigdemont, who has been in self-exile in Belgium since 2017 and moved to the south of France at Easter, said he did not see himself “as the head of the opposition” in Catalonia, declaring he would leave active politics if he were not elected president.

by Fernando Heller

Former Catalan president and leader of the right-wing separatist Together for Catalonia (JxCat), Carles Puigdemont, will quit politics if he does not win the snap regional elections on 12 May, he announced on Tuesday (9 April).

In an interview broadcast by RAC-1 radio on Tuesday, Puigdemont, who has been in self-exile in Belgium since 2017 and moved to the south of France at Easter, said he did not see himself “as the head of the opposition” in Catalonia, declaring he would leave active politics if he were not elected president.

The latest polls point to a victory for the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) candidate and former Spanish health minister, Salvador Illa, with a close race for second place between JxCat and its left-wing separatist rival, Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), of the current Catalan President Pere Aragones.

The former Catalan president reiterated that independence for Catalonia, the wealthy north-eastern Spanish region of around 7.5 million people, was a goal his party “does not want to and cannot give up.”

Puigdemont is waiting for the Spanish parliament to give the final green light to a controversial amnesty law, currently in the pipeline, that would pardon hundreds of members of the Catalan separatist movement between 2012 and 2023, which would, in principle, allow him to return to Spain as a free man.

According to parliamentary sources, the approval of the extraordinary grace norm could take place at the end of May or early June, almost coinciding with the European elections.

“I will only return to Catalonia on the day of the investiture debate. Returning a presidency is an act of the country, not of the party. It has to make institutional sense”, Puigdemont stressed.

*first published in: Εuractiv.com

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