BRUSSELS – The latest on the crisis in Catalonia (all locals):
The spokesperson for an important Catalan separatist party says that a judge's decision to keep the former vice president of the imprisoned region was politically motivated.
The spokeswoman for the Republican Left Party of Catalonia, Marta Rovira, said that Monday's ruling by a judge of the Supreme Court in Madrid was an attempt to marginalize Oriol Junqueras from this month's regional elections
Junqueras, who was dismissed as vice president of Catalonia, president of the Spanish government along with other high officials, leads the ticket of the ERC party in the elections of December 21.
The early election is an attempt to find a democratic solution to the political crisis caused by the promotion of independence by the overthrown regional government.
The vote is shaping up as a plebiscite between those in favor and against the secession of Spain, and the polls predict a closed race between the two sides.
Rovira said that imprisonment "is a very clear attempt to win these elections without political opponents."
2:55 p. M.
A survey commissioned by the government says pro-independence parties will lose their meager majority in the Catalan parliament in this month's elections, presaging a complicated route for post-election agreements to form a new government.
The CIS poll observed on Monday says the three separatist parties in parliament would win 66 or 67 seats in a new Catalan parliament.
The three had a narrow majority of 72 of the 135 seats until the chamber dissolved last month.
On December 21, the republican party ERC and the business opposition Ciutadans (citizens), with 21 and 22.5 percent of votes respectively and about 32 seats each in the new legislative body, are emerging as a closed race between the left , said the CIS survey.
The CIS said that the survey had a margin of error r of 1.8 percentage points. He said that 3,000 people were interrogated by phone calls from November 23 to 27.
Separatist groups in Catalonia are holding protests on Monday in front of city halls throughout the region in response to a Spanish judge's decision to refuse the release of their imprisoned leaders and others prominent politicians.
Omnium Cultural said in a statement that it considered "arbitrary and unjust" the decision of the Supreme Court judge to keep in custody the group's president, Jordi Cuixart and three other imprisoned separatists. He celebrated bail for the release of six other politicians.
Assemblea Nacional Catalana, the other key organization in the Catalan candidacy for independence, also denounced in a separate statement the custodians of its former president Jordi Sánchez, former Catalan president Oriol Junqueras, former regional interior minister Joaquim Forn and Cuixart of Omnium.
Both groups called on the Catalans to vote in the regional elections on December 21.
The ballots "must be an opportunity to defend civil rights" and freedoms that have been violated by the Spanish state, "said the Omnium statement.
Former lawyers Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and four of his separatist allies say that the five will be judged on whether they can be extradited from Belgium to Spain on December 14, exactly one week before a key regional election in Catalonia in which all are running for re-election
The group is refusing to return to Spain to face charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement that can be punished by decades of imprisonment under the country's criminal laws.
Puigdemont defense attorney Paul Bekaert said that on Monday the prosecutor requested the extradition of the five, but Bekaert insisted that the Spanish charges are not punishable in Belgium and, therefore, were not grounds for extradition ión.
"We also highlight the danger of impeding their human rights in Spain," he said.
A Spanish judge has ordered the release of six Catalan politicians, but confirmed the imprisonment of two separatist activists and two other prominent members of the regional government expelled more than a month ago in an unprecedented attempt at independence.
Supreme Court Justice Pablo Llarena ordered the deposed Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras, former regional interior minister Joaquim Forn and the leaders of two Catalan separatist base groups to remain in jail without bail on Monday.
The judge considers that it remains to be seen if his promises to comply with Spanish law and renounce the unilateral independence of Catalonia are "true and real", according to a statement from the Supreme Court of Justice
Llarena set bail 100,000 euros (US $ 118,000) for the other six Catalan politicians who were imprisoned in November on preliminary charges of rebellion and other offenses.
A judge decides Monday whether imprisoned Catalan politicians and pro-independence activists should be released, paving the way for them to join the campaign in a polarized regional election this month
The entire Catalan cabinet was dismissed more than a month ago for making a declaration of independence and its members face rebellion and other charges punishable by decades of imprisonment.
Eight former Catalan officials imprisoned near Madrid have pledged to give up unilateral independence for the rich region with the hope of being released.
The remaining former ministers and former regional president Carles Puigdemont are in Belgium, fighting extradition to Spain.
Two separatist activists facing sedition charges also await a decision on their imprisonment orders by the same Supreme Court justice.
The vote of December 21 is emerging as a plebiscite between those in favor and against ind ependence.
The ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and four close separatist allies are going to appear again in a Brussels court for extradition hearings and a possible decision on whether they will have to be returned to Spain .
The judicial hearing on Monday in Brussels for the five Catalans is the last step in their flight from Spain and their refusal to face charges of rebellion and sedition again.
Puigdemont plans to lead the campaign of his party for the December 21 elections called by the government of Spain in an attempt to find a democratic solution to the worst institutional crisis in the nation in almost four decades.
Whatever the decision made on Monday, two appeals may be filed and a final decision could only come after the vote.
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