The exiled president of the Catalan government and JxCAT candidate for the European elections, Carles Puigdemont, has opened a new legal battle with the Spanish state after announcing that in the event of his being elected on May 26 he could return to Catalonia thanks to the parliamentary immunity he would enjoy as a Member of the European Parliament.
However, Puigdemont’s declaration was roundly answered by the organs of the State, including the Central Electoral Board, which noted that to be a member of the European Parliament he would first have to accept the Spanish Constitution in a face-to-face act in Madrid, and Puigdemont would therefore still not enjoy parliamentary immunity, an interpretation echoed by the legal services of the Spanish Congress.
In declarations to the radio station Rac1, Puigdemont argued that the moment he was proclaimed an elected MP he would already obtain parliamentary immunity, a proclamation that would be determined by the publication of the electoral results in the official state bulletin.
The political battle of wills has given way to a new legal battle, this time in the European setting, as any dispute will have to be settled by the European Parliament based on a report of the parliamentary committee that verifies the credentials of elected members.
Puigdemont’s declaration was not well received by the other parliamentary groups and even the CUP distanced itself from the exiled president’s strategy, with party MP Natalia Sànchez yesterday warning him that “if we use certain promises in electoral logic we will not be doing the pro-independence movement a favour by feeding expectations that cannot be fulfilled.”