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Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena has refused acting Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras's prison transfer request, "without prejudicing the possibility for this claim to be studied by the competent prison authority". Llarena doesn't allow Junqueras to attend the opening session of the new Catalan Parliament and makes it clear that both the vice-president and deputies-elect Joaquim Forn and Jordi Sànchez are "legally incapable" of attending debates but can request to delegate their votes, which the Parliament's Board would have to decide on. That could open the way for acting president Carles Puigdemont and the ministers with him in Brussels to be able to vote on and form the new government the same way.

For the moment, Llarena guarantees that, as well the 62 pro-independence deputies who can definitely attend Parliament, there are three more who could delegate their votes. That puts the pro-independence majority at 65, just three short of an absolute majority, making the decisions of the ministers still in Brussels easier.

The judge agrees that the necessary measures should be enacted so that Junqueras, Sànchez and Forn "can accede to their condition of parliamentary representatives in the terms demanded in article 23 of the Parliament's Rules, despite the situation of preventive detention without bail which they currently find themselves in". That means that the three will have to delegate their votes to other deputies.

The judge describes the "prolonged legal inability of those under investigation to fulfil their duty to attend debates and votes in the Plenary of the Parliament of Catalonia". As such, he says, if the three should so apply, "it corresponds to the Parliament's Board to decide (in the manner they consider proper and there being no administrative reason to oppose it) the procedure for them to delegate their votes to other deputies, whilst their situation of preventive detention continues".

Junqueras had this week applied for both transfer to a Catalan prison as well as permission to attend certain sessions in the Catalan Parliament.

 

 

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