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Sacked Catalan leader Puigdemont ‘not seeking asylum’

Catalonia’s sacked President Carles Puigdemont says he has not travelled to Belgium to seek asylum.

He has appeared in public in Brussels with several colleagues after declaring independence from Spain last week.

Spain’s central government has taken direct control of Catalonia and sacked officials, following the region’s banned independence referendum.

Puigdemont said he was not trying to escape justice but wanted to be able to speak freely.

He was speaking at a press conference as Spain’s constitutional court suspended the declaration of independence made by the Catalan leader on Friday.

Puigdemont also said he would accept the result of snap Catalonia elections on 21 December, which were called by Spain’s central government after it invoked Article 155 of the constitution, temporarily suspending the region’s autonomy.

The move will see as many as 150 of the region’s top officials replaced.

“I want a clear commitment from the state. Will the state respect the results that could give separatist forces a majority?” Puigdemont asked reporters.

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