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Former Catalan Leader Seeks Long-distance 'Tech' Government

Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont (L) walks in the park with elected Catalan lawmakers of his Together for Catalonia party in Brussels on Jan. 12, 2018.

Catalonia's fugitive former leader, who wants his old job back, says new technologies would allow him to govern from Belgium.

Carles Puigdemont spoke to Catalan public radio from Belgium, where he fled to avoid a judicial probe in Spain over secession attempts.

The challenge led Spanish central authorities to disband the Catalan Cabinet and call an election in the northeastern region. Results granted separatists a slim parliamentary majority.

But with ousted Catalan Cabinet members under investigation, jailed or in Belgium and facing arrest if they return home, the Catalan parliament's new governing body must decide by the end of January whether to permit Puigdemont's re-election through a proxy delegate.

Spain's central government has vowed to impede Puigdemont's reinstatement by challenging it in courts if necessary.