Ex-Catalan leader launches movement to stay relevant

October 27, 2018 - 2:18 pm

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The former leader of Catalonia has launched a new political platform in hopes of maintaining his relevance in the region's secessionist movement from outside Spain, where he is wanted on rebellion charges.

Carles Puigdemont intervened via video at Saturday's rally to mark the foundation of The National Call for the Republic held in the northeastern Spanish town of Manresa.

Puigdemont spoke to the crowd from Belgium where he has lived since fleeing Spain one year ago after an illegal and failed declaration of independence by Catalonia's regional parliament.

Puigdemont and other organizers are calling the new group a movement instead of a political party. The organization's bylaws will allow members to also belong to political parties.

Only one of the three pro-secession Catalan parties has backed the movement.

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