Catalan President Backs Elections, Says He’s Still in Charge

Puigdemont Says He Can't Return to Catalonia

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium on Monday, has endorsed the announced “snap elections” to be held in late December. He says that his intent is to continue to fight for Catalonia’s independence.

President Carles Puigdemont signs the declaration

Puigdemont says Spain’s intent on “vengeance” against him for a successful referendum means he can’t come back to Catalonia for now, but denied he is seeking asylum. He maintains that he is still in charge of Catalonia despite Spain’s takeover.

Catalonia’s parliament voted to declare independence on Friday, and shortly theeafter, Spain announced that Spain’s government was dissolved and they are taken over outright. Spanish officials have threatened to prosecute every MP who voted for independence.

Though Spain hopes that the December vote will install a pro-union parliament, it’s not at all clear that is the case, with the referendum overwhelmingly approving independence, and polls showing Catalans still seek independence.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.