LONDON (Biafra24) – Pro-independence Catalan parliamentarians aim to nominate her exiled leader Carles Puigdemont to head their countries government, in defiance of Spain and despite being exile in Germany, a spokesman said on Saturday.

After meeting Puigdemont in Berlin, where he is currently waiting for Germany to rule on a Spanish request to extradite him, a spokesman for the the regional parliament said they wanted to install him by May 14.

“We want to vote on the investiture of @KRLS (Puigdemont), a legitimate president, the one who emerges from the polls with the mandate … before May 14,” Eduard Pujol tweeted after addressing reporters in Berlin.

Madrid called regional elections in Catalonia in December in a bid to curb the independence movement, which plunged Spain into its biggest crisis in decades, but the plan backfired and the secessionists kept a slim majority.

Puigdemont had fled Spain in October after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sacked his government. Rajoy has since repeatedly dismissed the suggestion by Puigdemont’s allies that he could rule from a distance.

Time is running out for Catalan lawmakers to pick a leader – if they fail to form a government by May 22, a new election must be held.

This will be the fifth attempt to install a new regional president since Madrid imposed direct rule on Catalonia, but Spain has already said it will contest a new law, passed in the Catalan parliament on Friday, that allows members to vote for an absent leader.

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