Spain’s Supreme Court upholds JEC ruling, prevents Puigdemont and Comín from taking up seats in European parliament

Spain’s electoral commission had disallowed the proxy oath taken by Catalonia’s newly-elected MEPs

One week after Spain’s Central Electoral Commission [JEC in Spanish] unanimously rejected the pledge of allegiance to the Spanish Constitution taken from Belgium by former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and former minister Toni Comín, the Supreme Court has now upheld the electoral commission’s judgement in what constitutes a fresh setback for the exiled Catalan leaders. The high court’s refusal to suspend the JEC ruling effectively prevents the former Catalan officials from taking up their seats in the European parliament.

So in the end the Supreme Court has rejected the precautionary measures requested by Puigdemont and Comín and by which they aimed to leave the JEC rulings without effect. The court has disallowed the proxy oath that the MEP-elects exiled in Belgium had taken through their lawyer, Gonzalo Boye.

The refusal by Spain’s electoral body meant that Puigdemont and Comín’s seats would remain vacant, as it communicated to the European Parliament. In this situation, both newly-elected lawmakers were stripped of “all the prerogatives” they were entitled to as MEPs until they formally pledge their allegiance to the Spanish Constitution.

The seat won by Oriol Junqueras, former Vice President of the Generalitat, is still vacant, as the JEC refused to grant a temporary penitentiary release so that he could take his oath before the electoral administration on June 17. Following the Republican leader’s appeal, the court now seems willing to consult the Court of Justice of the European Union about Junqueras' immunity.