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Catalan leader flees to Belgium



Catalan President Carles Puigdemont fled to Belgium where he was previously offered political asylum, the Spanish government said Monday. 

Puigdemont’s Catalan European Democratic Party said it would participate in the forced regional elections and keep their majority against anti-independence forces.

Spain’s chief prosecutor, Attorney-General Jose Mauel Maja, called for the charges of rebellion, sedition and provocation against Catalonia’s leadership. The request will be considered by a judge within the country’s legal system.

This comes after Puigdemont and his party declared independence from Madrid following an independence referendum on Oct 1 that leaders say gave them a mandate to separate.

On Oct 10, Puigdemont’s party wrote up a declaration document, but placed it on hold in an effort to enter into dialogue with the Spanish central government.

Spain’s Constitutional Court considers the referendum to have been illegal. National police attacked voters and stole ballot boxes on the day of the referendum.

The low 40% turnout was attributed to police brutality and a boycott by pro-union Catalans. However, 90% of the vote was pro-independence.

More details to follow. Image 1 of Carles Puigdemont from France 3 Regions. 

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