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Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy will ignore the Council of State and this Friday appeal the planned presidential investiture debate for Carles Puigdemont, according to Spanish government sources. The news comes after the strong setback for Rajoy of the senior consultative body's verdict this afternoon. That verdict, in response to a request from the Spanish government, says that "there is no basis for challenging" Puigdemont becoming a candidate for the presidency of Catalonia in the debate called for next Tuesday, 30th January.

The next question is whether the Constitutional Court will accept such an appeal for consideration, assuming one will be approved in tomorrow's cabinet meeting, which would imply the immediate suspension of the possibility of Puigdemont becoming president. As such, we have to wait for the court's decision. This, however, might not nullify the investiture, as it could come too late.

Government sources note that the Council of State's verdict is advisory, not binding. They say that they have received the full report which "supports the legal arguments raised by the executive, but disagrees about when" to bring the challenge. They do agree with the Spanish government, however, that the deputies in Brussels cannot delegate their votes to proxies. They also reject the possibility of an investiture debate with Puigdemont as candidate without him physically present in the Parliament in Barcelona.