Exiled Ex-Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to launch new party

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PARTY PLANS: Puigdemont (left) is set to lead the new group CREDIT: Shutterstock

THE former President of Cataluña is set to launch a new pro-independence party this October with himself in the top job.

Carles Puigdemont, who remains in Belgium after leaving Spain following last year’s secession push, has reportedly scheduled the launch of the National Appeal for the Republic party for October 27. The date is the one-year anniversary of the failed independence declaration. The declaration followed a secession referendum on October 1 that Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled was illegal.

Both resulted in direct rule being imposed on the region and several pro-independence lawmakers being arrested or leaving Spain.

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Puigdemont’s new party is due to meet on October 27 for its founding convention. It is set to hold its first part congress in December ahead of local and European elections in May 2019 and claims to have around 50,000 supporters.

Toni Morral, a spokesperson for the party, said the party aimed to carry out the mandate given to Catalan lawmakers in the referendum.

“Once the goal of independence is achieve the organisation will have no further purpose and plans to dissolve,” Morral said.

The new party also reportedly has the backing of Quim Torra, Puigdemont’s successor as Catalan President, and imprisoned pro-independence campaigner Jordi Sanchez.

Sources close to the party claimed its roughly 50,000 supporters were currently divided across their existing political entities.

Puigdemont looks set to remain in Belgium as he is still wanted in Spain on rebellion charges in connection with last year’s independence push.

He was previously evading a European Arrest Warrant until it was dropped after a German court ruled out his extradition to Spain on rebellion charges.

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