Catalan Leader Seeks to Vote by Proxy to Avoid Arrest by Spain

Puigdemont, Other MPs Still in Brussels

The Spanish government hoped they could crush Catalonia’s independence bid by forcing new elections on them, intending to get a pro-unity regional government elected. That didn’t happen, however, and now the question is now the same MPs that were in power in the first place are going to be able to vote.

Carles Puigdemont

Parliamentary votes for leadership are expected to be held by month’s end, and President Carles Puigdemont’s party is still in a position to lead, though Puidgemont and two other MPs are still in Brussels and would face arrest if they tried to return to Catalonia to vote in it.

Spain has already ruled out allowing them to vote via webcast, though Catalan officials are pushing for them to be allowed to send in their votes by proxy. There doesn’t seem to be any obvious problem with this, except that Spain’s central government remains determined to undermine Catalonia at every turn, and this would be another chance to do that.

If Puigdemont is reelected, as is expected, it creates an additional problem, as it leaves the elected president of the autonomous region effectively stuck in exile and facing arrest if he ever returns for “sedition.” Still, the results of the parliamentary vote all but guarantee a pro-secessionist figure in power, and Spain unhappy with whoever it is.

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.