Puigdemont pulls back from candidacy for Catalan leadership

Puigdemont pulls back from candidacy for Catalan leadership”

"I will not put myself forward as candidate to be appointed regional president", said Puigdemont in a statement through his social media accounts.

But the Spanish government says it will not allow anybody facing legal action over secession to become Catalan president, so Mr Puigdemont's announcement did little to increase the chances of ending the stalemate. "No one represents the values of JxCat better than him and he is a man of peace who is unjustly locked in a Spanish prison", said Puigdemont.

Puigdemont also revealed that a team of lawyers had lodged a formal complaint about the Spanish state's actions with the United Nations human rights committee.

Earlier this week, Catalan parties announced their plans to establish parallel government structures in Brussels that will be headed by ousted regional President Carles Puigdemont.

Mr Puigdemont suggested the Catalan parliament pick Jordi Sanchez, a political ally in the secession bid who is now in jail in Madrid while a court mulls formal charges against him, as president.

He, like Puigdemont, faces charges of sedition.

Madrid called a snap election for December a year ago in hope of having a more moderate Catalan government to deal with, but its plan backfired when the region voted a majority of pro-independence MPs into parliament, maintaining the status quo.

He added that he had "provisionally" called off his candidacy and was instead proposing Jordi Sànchez, an MP in his Together for Catalonia (JxCat) party and the former leader of the influential grassroots Catalan National Assembly (ANC).

The plebiscite was not, however, recognized by Madrid, which subsequently imposed direct rule over the autonomous region and dismissed its government. The justification of Puigdemont to give now a step to side has been: "This decision is based on that in current conditions this is way to be able to vehicular a government as soon as possible". Mr Puigdemont had campaigned to be re-instated as the region's leader.

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