A Madrid court ruled on that former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who lives in a self-imposed exile in Belgium since 2017 to escape arrest for his prominent role in organising the independence referendum, could run in the European Parliament election on May 26.
Spain’s electoral commission last month barred Puigdemont and two other fugitive Catalan politicians from standing, but they contested the decision in court. Puigdemont and Toni Comin live in Belgium while Clara Ponsati lives in Scotland.
All three face imminent arrest in case they return to Spain as the referendum was ruled not only illegal by the Constitutional Court. Nine Catalan leaders – including Puigdemont’s former vice-president, Oriol Junqueras are going through trial in Madrid on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.