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Spain's Supreme Court suspended the execution of its sentence that former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras (ERC) should be banned from public office for 13 years until the Court of Justice of the EU returns a verdict on a question on parliamentary immunity.

In a decision signed by the court the same day the sentences were announced, 14th October, but which has only come to light now, the judges agreed to immediately enforce the 13-year prison sentenced they had given him, but suspend the ban from office.

The advocate general reviewing the case is expected it announce their verdict on Junqueras' immunity on 12 November, that is, after the general election. That case derived from the decision by the Spanish Electoral Commission to exclude Junqueras, like Puigdemont and Comín, from the list of newly-elected MEPs it provided to Brussels after May's election, despite them all having received the requisite number of votes.

Junqueras had previously been elected to the Congress in April's first general election this year. When they presented him as a candidate for this November's repeat election, however, the Central Electoral Commission ordered ERC to remove his name from their list.

The situation has led to the vice-president's defence counsel filing two appeals. One with the Electoral Commission, arguing that he should be eligible to stand; the other, with the Supreme Court, calling for his release. Their argument in the second case is that the sentence cannot be partially applied and that, if the ban from public office is suspended, his prison term should be too.

Party sources accuse the Electoral Commission of an "illegitimate [use] of the justice system" and a "scandal". They believe they tried to sideline Junqueras because "he's the best candidate".

Under Spanish law, anyone serving a firm prison sentence is automatically ineligible to stand for election. The ban from public office also prevents unelected and directly nominated positions.

Electoral Commission sources say they will decide on the matter either this Friday or on Sunday 10th itself.

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