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Fugitive Catalan Leader Launches Campaign From Belgium

  • Associated Press

Observed by the media Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont arrives for a presentation of the candidate list for the Catalan regional elections in Oostkamp, Belgium, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017.

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

Carles Puigdemont, who wants to be re-elected as regional president, launched "Together for Catalonia" from Bruges on Saturday. Spanish media reports that 90 of the candidates he chose traveled from Catalonia in northeastern Spain to the Belgian city for the launch.

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

Puigdemont's 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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