Puigdemont, 2 Other Catalans Can’t Run in European Elections

Catalonia’s former regional president Carles Puigdemont addresses a conference in Brussels on Feb. 18, 2019. Puigdemont vied for a seat in the European Parliament, even though the Spanish government considers him a fugitive. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

MADRID (AP) — Spanish political party officials say the country’s Electoral Board has ruled that Carles Puigdemont and two other Catalan separatists who fled abroad to escape arrest can’t stand as candidates in next month’s European Parliament elections.

The conservative Popular Party, which complained to the Electoral Board about the secessionists’ plans to stand, and the Together for Catalonia grouping of separatists, which presented the three as candidates, said the Electoral Board informed them of its decision Monday.

The ruling keeps Puigdemont and Toni Comín, who fled to Belgium, and Clara Ponsatí, who lives in the U.K., out of the May 26 race to fill Spain’s allotted seats at the parliament in Strasbourg.

The three were involved in the Catalonia region’s attempt to break away from Spain in 2017.

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