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Spain to try and stop Carles Puigdemont in constitutional court

Carles Puigdemont

Madrid, Jan 27 (UITV/IANS) - The Spanish government will appeal to the country's constitutional court in an attempt to stop the investiture of Carles Puigdement as the leader of the Catalan region, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sainz de Santamaria said on Friday.

Puigdemont was sacked as leader of the Catalan regional assembly at the end of October 2017 in the wake of the Catalan independence referendum and unilateral declaration of independence, reports Xinhua.

Puigdemont is currently in Belgium facing arrest on charges of rebellion, sedition, misuse of funds and disobedience if he returns to Spain.

It is so far unsure whether his investiture would be by video link or in person.

"We will use this prerogative (the constitutional court) to stop Puigdemont's candidacy progressing and producing irreparable damage," Sainz de Santamaria was quoted as saying.

"We have the constitutional duty to do everything legally possible that is in our hands to stop legally being broken. We have to use all of the legal tools in our hands to stop that someone who has run away from justice be illegitimately sworn into power and placed at the head of the government of an autonomous region," she added.

If the constitutional court accepts the government's appeal, it would temporarily suspend Tuesday's investiture session while it carries out its investigations prior to making a definitive decision.

Spain's State Council on Thursday said no action had been carried out thus far to justify such a step, adding Puigdemont had been correctly elected as a member of the Catalan parliament and the charges against him are no impediment to him being a candidate for regional presidency.

Pro-independence parties in Catalonia won 70 seats in the 135-seat parliament in elections on December 21.