Source AP ©

Basque separatist party can't propose its candidates in elections

Spain's Supreme Court ruled that a new Basque separatist party cannot nominate candidates in local elections this month, citing links to the outlawed political wing of the armed group ETA.

The court said it accepted arguments from Spanish prosecutors that the new party - called Abertzale Sozialisten Batasuna - is simply a continuation of Batasuna, which the court banned in 2003 on grounds it is part of ETA.

However, the ruling was widely expected by the Basque pro-independence movement, which had already maneuvered to resurrect a separate, largely dormant but legal pro-independence party that will be allowed to take part in the Basque leg of Spanish local elections on May 27.