World Bulletin / News Desk
"I will not put myself forward as candidate to be appointed regional president," Puigdemont, who remains in exile in Belgium, said in a video posted on his Twitter account.
In the video message, Puigdemont said he was stepping aside so the Catalan parliament can find another candidate to form a regional government that pursues independence and added that he supports Jordi Sanchez Picanyol, an activist and president of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), as an alternative candidate for the presidency.
Last month, Puigdemont announced he would establish a "government in exile" in Brussels.
He fled to Belgium to avoid prison after a political crisis erupted in the wake of an independence referendum by the Catalan regional government on Oct. 1 last year which the Spanish central government had declared illegal.
If he returns to Spain, he will automatically be arrested, as he faces serious charges of rebellion and sedition for leading the Catalan parliament to declare independence last October.