Spain challenges Catalan ex-leader's move to resume office

The Spanish government says it is challenging the candidacy of Catalonia's fugitive ex-president to lead a new regional government.

The Parliament of Catalonia parliament is due to debate and vote Jan. 30 on whether to reinstall Carles Puigdemont as the region's leader, although numerous obstacles could prevent his taking office.

Puigdemont fled to Brussels after Spain seized control of Catalonia over the parliament's Oct. 27 declaration of independence. He is wanted in Spain on possible rebellion and sedition charges and is likely to be arrest if he returns to Spain.

If the Spain Constitutional Court agrees to take up the government's challenge, it could order the planned parliamentary investiture vote suspended.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said Friday that as a fugitive, Puigdemont cannot be elected.