It happens to be my last [congrès] as presidenthe declared in front of the activists of Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia), gathered in Argelès-sur-Mer, a French coastal town near the border with Spain.
Organizations must be able and know how to make replacementsadded Mr. Puigdemont, 59.
The separatist leader had announced at the beginning of May that he would not run again at the head of his formation, because this one needed, according to him,
of a more committed presidency than he could offer.
At the head of the Catalan regional government during the October 2017 secession attempt, Mr. Puigdemont fled shortly after to Belgium, where he has been installed for almost five years, in order to escape prosecution from Spanish justice.
The Court ofEUhas just restored at the end of May his immunity as an MEP, which had been lifted by the European Parliament, but the separatist leader is still waiting for European justice to rule on the merits of this very complex file.
Catalonia was the scene in 2017 of one of the worst crises experienced by Spain since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975. The separatists then organized a self-determination referendum despite its ban by Spanish justice before unilaterally declaring independence of the region.
Nine separatist leaders were sentenced in 2019 to up to 13 years in prison for their role in this secession attempt. The leftist Spanish government decided to pardon them last year, in the name of
Jordi Turull, who is to be officially appointed as the new general secretary of Junts on Saturday, was one of these imprisoned leaders.
He will form a tandem at the head of the party with the president of the Catalan regional parliament Laura Borràs, representative of the hard wing, who will take over the presidency of the party in place of Mr. Puigdemont.
Coming third in the regional elections last year, Mr. Puigdemont’s party is a member of the separatist regional government chaired by the other major independence party, ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia).
The tensions between these two parties are constant, Junts being very critical of the dialogue with the central government undertaken by ERCcentral government support for the Spanish Parliament.