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Former Catalan leader’s future in the European Parliament still pending a final ruling.
Updated 7/1/19, 9:07 PM CET
Exiled former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont won’t be able to claim his seat in the European Parliament — at least not this week.
The EU’s General Court is considering a complaint brought by the pro-independence politician related to moves by Spanish authorities to block him from being recognized as an MEP after winning a seat in May’s election.
In the interim, the court on Monday denied Puigdemont’s request to order the European Parliament to allow him to join other lawmakers when the new legislature meets for the first time on Tuesday.
Puigdemont has been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium and faces arrest if he returns to Spain due to his role in a separatist push in 2017. He therefore did not appear in Madrid’s national parliament to declare his allegiance to the constitution last month, as required of Spanish MEPs. National election authorities rejected his attempt to make the oath in absentia, and did not include his name on an official list of MEPs sent to the European Parliament.
Parliament President Antonio Tajani sent Puigdemont and another Catalan MEP-elect, also living in Belgium, a letter saying he could not treat them as MEPs for the time being because Spanish authorities do not recognize them.
Puigdemont and the other MEP, Toni Comín, appealed to the General Court, asking that it “order the European Parliament to take all the necessary measures, to enable the applicants to take their seats” on Tuesday, according to a court statement.
But the General Court denied this request, saying there was “no scope for the Parliament to accord to the applicants, on a provisional basis, a seat in Parliament until their credentials had been verified.”
The court said its final judgment on the “substance of this case” will come at a later date, and that its decision on the interim measures is ”without prejudice to the outcome of the main proceedings.”