Second attempt to make jailed Catalan activist regional president

Madrid (AFP) –


A jailed Catalan pro-independence activist was on Saturday proposed as the new regional president for a second time despite a failed first attempt.

Jordi Sanchez was remanded in custody in October pending charges of sedition over last year's Catalan independence bid.

The president of the Catalan parliament, Roger Torrent, tweeted: "I propose the deputy Jordi Sanchez as candidate for the nomination. He is the one who gathers the most support."

A previous attempt to appoint Sanchez as regional president failed last month after Spain's Supreme Court turned down a request for him to be released from jail to be sworn in.

This is the fourth time Torrent has proposed a candidate.

Sanchez's name was originally put forward after former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, living in self-imposed exile in Belgium and wanted in Spain, dropped his candidacy.

Puigdemont faces arrest if he returns to Spain on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds over his role in Catalonia's separatist push.

"It is necessary today to demand that the (Spanish) state changes its attitude. That it guarantees the political rights of our deputy Jordi Sanchez to be president. He keeps his rights as a deputy and to be (regional) president," said Puigdemont at a news conference in Berlin on Saturday.

On Thursday, a German court refused Spain's request to extradite Puigdemont on a rebellion charge following his arrest in Germany last month.

He was released on bail pending a hearing on a lesser charge and remains in Germany.