- Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was sacked by the Spanish government after the region’s parliament voted for independence.
- The Spanish government has called fresh elections for December.
- The government says Puigdemont would be “welcome” to stand in the new elections.
LONDON — The Spanish government says sacked Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is “welcome” to stand in fresh regional elections which will take place in December.
The Catalan regional parliament voted for independence on Friday, after a contested referendum at the start of the month, and Puigdemont and his government was sacked immediately afterwards, but a central government spokesman said the leader had the right to continue in politics.
“I’m quite sure that if Puigdemont takes part in these elections, he can exercise this democratic opposition,” said Íñigo Méndez de Vigo said, quoted by Reuters.
“The Catalans will be able to say what they feel about what they have been seeing in this last year, with all sorts of failing the law, abusing the law and putting themselves outside the law,” he added.
Puigdemont on Saturday urged “democratic opposition” to the Spanish government’s efforts to suppress the region’s independence.
The national government in Madrid says the independence declaration is invalid. He has since invoked Article 155, a constitutional provision that instates direct rule, and has put his Deputy in charge of the region.
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