The candidate for the presidential investiture debate tomorrow, Carles Puigdemont, has rejected asking the Supreme Court for authorisation to attend tomorrow's debate, as ordered by the Constitutional Court as a condition for allowing it to go ahead after the appeal by the Spanish government. On Saturday, the Constitutional Court agreed, as a precautionary measure, to prohibit Puigdemont's investiture if he weren't present in person and warned that nor would he be invested "without the pertinent legal authorisation, even if he appears in person in the chamber".
With less than 24 hours to go until the planned start time, Puigdemont has written to the Supreme Court, saying that his role as a deputy in the Parliament grants him inherent rights without needing "legal authorisation".
Puigdemont notes that since 17th January he has had right to "full exercise" of the condition of parliamentarian and that, as such, "enjoys the full range of parliamentary rights and prerogatives described in the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, the Rules of the Parliament of Catalonia and other applicable legislation".
The president believes that, as a deputy, he has certain acquired rights, including parliamentary immunity and that he doesn't need to ask for any kind of legal authorisation to exercise these rights.
JuntsxCat appeals to the Constituional Court
On the other hand, deputies from Puigdemont's election list, JuntsxCat, have presented an appeal to the Constitutional Court to ask for the precautionary measure which prohibits him being invested president at a distance to be declared null, a statement from their parliamentary group says.
JuntsxCat believes that the precautionary measures imposed by the court, whilst they decide whether or not to accept for consideration the Spanish government's appeal, "are void ipso jure". Moreover, in the filing, they allege that the measures "violate fundamental rights", given that "they weren't requested" by any of the parties and "invade" the autonomy of the Parliament of Catalonia and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Parliament's Board in the application and interpretation of its rules.
For this reason, they ask for the court's verdict to be declared null, as well as the precautionary measures, whilst the appeal is processed.
Emergency meeting of the court
The Constitutional Court's plenary assembly will meet at 1pm this Wednesday to resolve the allegations presented by JuntsxCat. The court gives the parties, the state's legal services and Parliament, until 11am to formulate their arguments.
JuntsxCat's filing comes after the court adopted precautionary measures following the Spanish government's appeal against Puigdemont's investiture and suspended any such debate without the candidate present.
In its last meeting, the court didn't decide whether or not to accept the appeal into consideration (a decision it said it would take after hearing from the parties), but did expressly establish that Puigdemont's investiture cannot be held "via telecommunications nor by substitution of another deputy". It also said that any investiture with Puigdemont present requires legal authorisation.
Another item in the verdict was that the deputies with legal warrants hanging over them cannot delegate their votes to other deputies and warned the Parliament's speaker and Board of the penal measures which they could face if they disobey. Following this, this Monday, of the deputies in Belgium, Lluís Puig, Clara Ponsatí and Meritxell Serret have resigned their seats and Toní Comin withdrew his request for a delegated vote.