Catalan parliament defends Puigdemont, denounces Spain’s ‘shift to authoritarianism’

Catalonia’s majority separatist parliament on Thursday denounced Madrid’s “shift towards authoritarianism,” defending ousted leader Carles Puigdemont. The MPs voted on the first motion since the December elections, as talks continue to form a regional government. The motion defends Puigdemont as the “legitimate” candidate for the regional presidency, AFP reported. It also says the majority separatists are “favorable to the constitution of Catalonia as an independent state.” However, the motion stops short of validating a failed declaration of independence on October 27. Some politicians in the independence camp want former regional head Puigdemont to govern from Brussels, where he has been in self-imposed exile since October, but such a solution faces many potential legal hurdles.