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Puigdemont Says Can Govern Catalonia from Belgium

Puigdemont Says Can Govern Catalonia from Belgium

Friday, 19 January, 2018 - 12:45
Catalonia's sacked former leader Carles Puigdemont. AFP file photo

Catalonia's sacked former leader Carles Puigdemont said Friday he can govern the region from Belgium where he is in self-imposed exile.

"There are only two options: in prison I would not be able to address people, write, meet people," Puigdemont, who risks arrest on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds if he returns to Spain, told Catalunya Radio.

"The only way is to continue doing it freely and safely."

"Nowadays big business, academic and research projects are essentially managed using new technology," he added.

His comments came as Catalonia's new parliamentary speaker, Roger Torrent from the pro-independence ERC party, held talks with party representatives to pick a candidate for the regional presidency.

Puigdemont, who was sacked along with his cabinet on October 27 by Madrid after the regional parliament declared independence, is the only candidate from Catalonia's separatist grouping to lead the region.

And given pro-independence parties won an absolute majority in elections on December 21, he in theory stands a good chance to be voted in at a parliamentary session due by the end of the month.

Puigdemont would not clarify in Friday's radio interview whether he would continue with plans to unilaterally construct an independent republic if elected regional president. But he said he planned to restore the previous administration.

"There is no plan B: plan A is restoration because that iswhat the people have entrusted us with."

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