Fugitive Catalan leader launches election campaign from Belgium

Fugitive Catalan leader launches election campaign from Belgium

The fugitive leader of Catalonia's separatist movement has launched his campaign for the upcoming Catalan elections from Belgium, where he is awaiting extradition.

Carles Puigdemont, who wants to be re-elected as regional president, launched Together for Catalonia in Bruges.

Spanish media reported that 90 of the candidates he chose travelled from Catalonia in north-eastern Spain to the Belgian city for the launch.

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Mr Puigdemont and four former members of his government fled to Belgium following a declaration of independence by Catalonia's parliament on October 27 and a swift crackdown by Spanish authorities, which included firing his government and calling regional elections for December 21.

His extradition could take several weeks or longer, meaning he can run his campaign from abroad. He faces arrest if he returns to Spain.

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