- Title: Spanish government asks court to block Puigdemont's bid to lead Catalonia
- Date: 26th January 2018
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (JANUARY 26, 2018) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF SPAIN'S STATE COUNCIL BUILDING
- Embargoed: 9th February 2018 14:49
- Keywords: Catalonia Carles Puigdemont Soraya Saenz de Santamaria Parliament Session Roger Torrent
- Location: MADRID AND BARCELONA, SPAIN
- City: MADRID AND BARCELONA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0067ZR13RB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Spain's government on Friday (January 26) decided to ask the Constitutional Court to block former leader Carles Puigdemont's bid to lead Catalonia again, the deputy prime minister said.
Puigdemont fled to Belgium shortly after declaring Catalonia independent from Spain in October, a move considered illegal under Spanish law. He faces charges including rebellion and sedition if he returns to Spain but he is the separatists' candidate to lead the region.
The row over Puigdemont's candidacy will come to a head on Tuesday (January 30) when the Catalan parliament plans to vote on it.
The newly elected speaker of the Catalan parliament, Roger Torrent, nominated Puigdemont on Monday (January 22) as the sole candidate for regional leader, against warnings by Madrid that he couldn't take the position.
Puigdemont has not ruled out travelling to Barcelona to take part in the parliamentary vote but has not said he would do it either.
The government's decision to appeal directly to the constitutional court comes after the Council of State - the supreme consultative council of the Spanish government which advises on serious issues - advised against it on Thursday.
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