Spanish PM to appeal to Constitutional Court if Puigdemont invested



Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy repeated on Wednesday that his government would appeal to the country's Constitutional Court if Carles Puigdemont were to be invested as the leader of the Catalonia region while in exile.

Puigdemont is currently in exile in Belgium facing charges of rebellion, sedition, disobedience and misuse of public funds related to the Oct. 1 independence referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence and would be arrested if he returned to Spain. In the Dec. 21 elections called by Rajoy, however, Puigdemont was re-elected to the Catalan assembly while the pro-independence parties once again won a majority.

Catalan speaker Roger Torrent confirmed at the start of the week that Puigdemont was the only candidate to the regional leader. But speaking on radio station Onda Cero on Wednesday, Rajoy insisted he would not allow a "long-distance" investiture of Puigdemont.

"The Spanish government will do everything possible for the law to be obeyed in Spain. That is our obligation and I am going to fulfil it," said Rajoy, adding that the appeal to the court could not be made until the Catalan assembly made its decision.

He also made reference to a possible detention of Puigdemont should he return to Spain, saying that "when you don't respect the law, you have to be aware of the consequences."

Rajoy's comments came after Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido explained that Spanish security forces were on alert to stop Puigdemont returning to Catalonia undetected, while the former Catalan leader refused to rule out returning for his inauguration in person.