Ousted Catalan Leader Vows to Fight Spain’s Takeover

Ousted Catalan Leader Vows to Fight Spain’s TakeoverOusted Catalan Leader Vows to Fight Spain’s Takeover

Catalonia’s ousted separatist president on Saturday called on Catalans to peacefully oppose Spain’s imposition of direct rule in the region, in a veiled refusal to accept his cabinet’s dismissal as ordered by central authorities. Spain took formal direct control of Catalonia on Saturday, dismissing the region’s defiant separatist government, including Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, a day after lawmakers passed a declaration of independence for the prosperous northeastern region, AP reported.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dissolved the regional parliament and called a new regional election to be held on Dec. 21.

In a pre-recorded televised statement, Puigdemont said only the regional parliament can elect or dismiss the Catalan government, vowing to “continue working to build a free country.”

“The best way we have to defend the achievements to date is the democratic opposition to the application of Article 155,” Puigdemont said in reference to the constitutional clause that gave Madrid direct control of affairs in Catalonia.

“Our will is to continue working to fulfill the democratic mandates and at the same time seek the maximum stability and tranquility,” Puigdemont said. Separatists argue that a controversial victory in a banned Oct. 1 referendum legitimizes them to split from Spain.

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