Puigdemont accuses European Union of not defending rights in Catalonia

Spain Catalonia

Ines Arrimadas of Catalan centre-right party Ciudadanos leader attends a parliamentary session

Catalonia's parliament has proposed former leader Carles Puigdemont as a candidate for president.

Carles Puigdemont was named as the sole candidate for leader of the Catalan parliament on Monday in a move which could deepen further the split between Barcelona and Madrid.

Mr Puigdemont is being investigated by Spain over a unilateral declaration of independence by Catalonia's parliament on October 27.

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Deputy leader Margot Parker, who is an East Midlands MEP, said Mr Bolton's "personal life took over the job he was elected to do". But Mr Bolton did get the support of Jo Marney, the girlfriend he dumped after offensive messages she sent were exposed.

Spain's Supreme Court dropped an arrest warrant in December but the prosecutor applied for it to be reissued on Monday.

Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena turned down the request, arguing that Puigdemont had gone to Denmark 'to provoke this arrest overseas as part of a strategy to boost his arguments in favour of being allowed to be sworn in as president of Catalonia again. This will likely be after regional lawmakers elect a new leader by the end of the month.

The controversy came as Mr Puigdemont was nominated by the speaker of the Catalan parliament, Roger Torrent, to head the regional government on Monday.

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In December, Mr Llarena withdrew an global arrest order against Mr Puigdemont, fearing that technical differences between the Belgian and Spanish judicial systems would restrict the charges upon which he could be tried after being extradited.

The Catalan leader's trip to Copenhagen is his first since he fled to Belgium.

Mr Torrent said he was "conscious of the warnings that weigh upon him, but I am also conscious of his absolute legitimacy to be candidate".

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Puigdemont has been living in Belgium since Spain's prime minister removed him from office and prosecutors opened a sedition investigation over the Catalan government's push for independence. Together the parties secured 70 out of the 135 seats. However, Rajoy has said Puigdemont must attend the investiture debates in person. If he attempts to do so, Rajoy promised to continue the implementation of Article 155, which does not have a time limit.

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