11:13 GMT14 May 2021
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    MADRID (Sputnik) - Speaker of the Catalan parliament Roger Torrent has proposed again nominating jailed pro-independence political activist Jordi Sanchez as a candidate for the regional presidency after consultations with parliamentary factions.

    Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, released on bail from a German prison on Thursday, reiterated his support for Sanchez at a press conference in Berlin earlier in the day.

    "Following consultations with all parliamentary groups, I propose putting Jordi Sanchez’s candidacy for [regional] presidency on the vote. He enjoys the greatest support and has all political rights," Speaker of the Catalan parliament Roger Torrent wrote on Twitter.

    Sanchez, the former leader of the pro-independence Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and a representative of the Together for Catalonia party led by Puigdemont, is currently in pre-trial detention in Madrid on charges of a coup, insurgency, and embezzlement of state funds in connection with the October 1 referendum.

    The Catalan parliament put forward his candidacy for the presidency in early March, however, Sanchez revoked it after the Spanish Constitutional Court rejected his request for temporary release.

    The second candidate was Puigdemont, who also refused to run for the office while being in his self-imposed exile in Belgium. Former government speaker Jordi Turull was the third candidate, who fell short of the required votes earlier in March and was jailed a day before the second round of the vote.

    READ MORE: Catalan Ex-Head Hopes to Leave for Belgium After Сourt Session in Berlin

    The Spanish Supreme Court has previously ordered that all candidates seeking Catalonia’s highest office must be physically present at the investiture meeting, while Madrid has repeatedly said that Catalan parliament must nominee a presidential candidate who has no legal problems.

    The autonomous region of Catalonia held a referendum on independence on October 1, in which over 90 percent of the 2.26 million Catalans, who participated in the vote, supported the region's secession from Spain. Madrid called the vote illegal and subsequently imposed direct rule over the autonomous region and dismissed its government. Several ministers of the former Catalan government were arrested, while Puigdemont fled to Belgium to avoid arrest.


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    candidacy, presidency, statement, Catalan National Assembly, Catalan parliament, Jordi Sanchez, Jordi Turull, Roger Torrent, Carles Puigdemont, Germany, Catalonia, Spain, Belgium
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