Catalonia Separatist Groups Win Absolute Majority

Catalonia Separatist Groups Win Absolute MajorityCatalonia Separatist Groups Win Absolute Majority

Ousted regional President Carles Puigdemont is set to regain power in Catalonia after his Together for Catalonia (Junts per Catalonia) party captured 34 seats in Thursday’s election. Together with the 36 seats of the two other pro-independence parties, the separatists are headed for an absolute majority in the 135-seat regional parliament.

Puigdemont’s bloc had fared slightly better in the last regional elections in 2015, however, when the pro-independence parties earned 72 seats, DW reported.

The secessionist parties garnered only 48% of the popular vote. The pro-Madrid Citizens party won the most seats outright with 37, but will not be able to form as substantial a coalition as the secessionists.

Speaking from exile in Brussels, Puigdemont called the election a victory for the “Catalan Republic” as well as a “slap in the face” to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

“I think we have earned the right to be listened to,” he added.

Catalan National Assembly Vice President Agusti Alcoberro claimed victory on behalf of the separatists, declaring in front of a crowd in Barcelona that “pro-independence forces have won the elections.”

Alcoberro then demanded the release of imprisoned secessionist politicians and “the restitution of the government,” sacked by Madrid.

The regional election was largely seen as a mandate on the highly autonomous Spanish region’s push for independence from Spain.

The pro-independence forces garnering an absolute majority could be a significant blow to the Rajoy’s government, who had hoped the election would put an end to the drive to secede. It will also do little to end the political deadlock, with a minority of voting Catalans supporting secession but a pro-secessionist government taking the regional reign of government.

  No National Election

Rajoy ruled out calling a national election after Catalan separatists won a regional vote, Reuters reported.

On Friday, Rajoy said he would make an effort to hold talks with the new Catalan government. He did not clarify whether he would be willing to meet deposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who is in self-imposed exile in Brussels.

The vote on Thursday had been ordered by Rajoy in the aftermath of a highly contested independence referendum on October 1 and a subsequent unilateral declaration of independence, both of which were ruled unconstitutional. The central government in Madrid also sacked Puigdemont’s regional government and took direct control of the region.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints