January 19, 2018 / 2:21 PM / a month ago

Spain rules out Puigdemont becoming Catalonia leader again

MADRID (Reuters) - Catalonia’s former leader Carles Puigdemont will not become the Spanish region’s chief again, government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said in an interview, adding that the government would continue to directly rule Catalonia as long as necessary.

“He won’t be president,” Mendez de Vigo, who is also minister of education, culture and sport, told Reuters in an interview.

FILE PHOTO: Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont poses with members of his party 'Junts per Catalunya' parliament group in Brussels, Belgium January 12, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Asked if Puigdemont could carry out with his plans to be elected Catalonia president remotely from Brussels and rule from there while the government continued to officially rule the country’s wealthiest region, based on the article 155 of the constitution, he said:

”It won’t happen. The only legitimacy is that of article 155.

Mendez de Vigo said that if the situation remained stuck as it is, there would be fresh regional elections in Catalonia. “This is not what we want but that’s what will happen if they (nationalists) act outside the law.”

Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Julien Toyer

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