The election of the leader of Esquerra comes after the European Parliament yesterday recognized Junqueras as an MEP in an internal communication, despite the ruling by Spain’s Central Electoral Commission disqualifying him
The MEP and leader of Esquerra Republicana Oriol Junqueras, who has been unjustly imprisoned by Spain since 2017, was elected President of the European Free Alliance subgroup in the European Parliament on Tuesday, and as such, as the first Vice President of the Greens–European Free Alliance Group.
Junqueras succeeds the SNP's Scottish MEP Alyn Smith, who was elected in the last parliamentary election in December.
It's shameful he [Junqueras] has been prevented from assuming the democratic mandate for so long, depriving the Catalan citizens who voted for him of representationFrançois Alfonsi MEP François Alfonsi
"We look forward to receiving Mr Junqueras in Strasbourg next week so that he can take his seat as an MEP and assume the presidency of the ALE," said MEP François Alfonsi. "It's shameful he has been prevented from assuming the democratic mandate for so long, depriving the Catalan citizens who voted for him of representation. The Spanish authorities must now respect the decision of the European Court of Justice and allow Mr Junqueras to take his seat as soon as possible," he added.
The European Free Alliance, which includes Esquerra Republicana, is in parliamentary coalition with the Greens Group and is the fourth political force in the European Chamber, with 75 MEPs.