Big expectation in Catalonia as exiled president Carles Puigdemont and Esquerra party’s main candidate, Oriol Junqueras, might “meet” again as they take part in a televised debate for the European elections this evening. Junqueras will join the debate on Catalan public TV via video link from prison, where he is in custody while being tried in the Supreme Court.
The decision to allow the candidates to take part in the debate was upheld by Barcelona’s electoral authority following an appeal by the unionist Ciutadans party on Saturday. The final permission from prison authorities is still pending.
Carles Puigdemont reacted on Twitter to the decision to allow Junqueras to take part, saying: “If he’s going to be there, then so will I.” Both candidates were members of the Catalan government during the bid to split from Spain in 2017, Junqueras serving as vice president. If Junqueras is not allowed to take part in the end, Puigdemont will be replaced by his former Health minister Toni Comín, also in exile at present. “It would not be fair, we don’t want an advantage thanks to the repression,” said Puigdemont.