A RIGHT-WING, pro-union party in Spain employed a member of the country’s Central Electoral Board (JEC) who took part in debates about the Catalan political conflict and tried to stop former government members standing as MEPs.

Andres Betancor, a professor of constitutional law at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University, was a salaried adviser to Ciutadans (Citizens) with his own office, while he also sat on the JEC between 2017 and 2019.

In that time, party sources told online Spanish newspaper eldiario.es that he took part in discussions involving cases brought by the party.

They would not, however, give details about Betancor’s duties in the party, or the salary he received, and Citizens said the compatibility of his twin appointments “is not illegal”.

Betancor said: “I just have to say that I neither confirm anything nor reject anything.”

He was approached by the party as an expert in administrative law and asked permission from his university to take up his appointment.

A few months later, he received another job offer, a position on the electoral board, which he accepted.

During his time in the JEC, Betancor played a part in controversial resolutions, such as the European election candidacy of former president, the exiled Carles Puigdemont and the attempt to ban him, Toni Comin and Clara Ponsati as MEPs, who are also in exile.

Betancor left the JEC last July, after Puigdemont accused him of leading a political persecution against him.

The JEC has also tried to strip Catalan President Quim Torra of his status as an MP. Torra threatened legal action against Betancor on Twitter: “Because it is at the origin of my disqualification, I will file a lawsuit for bribery, prevarication and/or election crime against Betancor and those responsible for this scandal that calls into question all decisions made by the JEC over the past 2 years.”