September 28, 2015- Pro-independence parties in Spain’s Catalonia region have won an absolute majority in regional elections, near complete results show.
Catalan separatist parties won a narrow majority in regional parliamentary elections in Spain on Sunday.
As such, a mandate is illegal under the Spanish constitution, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called Catalonian efforts to separate from Spain “nonsense”, but many believe that the region’s vote will force Spanish officials to acknowledge the growing nationalism among Catalans.
“Today is a great win for democracy in Catalonia”, said Artur Mas, the leader of the region’s government who has led the push for a vote on independence.
Spain’s ruling “Partido Popular” party insists Spain will continue to be united following a massive vote in favour of separatist parties that support independence for Catalonia.
“Then we will have the real election, the real referendum, in a year and a half”, said Lisée.
“No one will destroy the unity of Spain”, he said.
However, the pro-independence parties gathered only 47.8 percent of the direct vote – something the main opposition party, Ciutadans, was quick to point out.
The future of Catalonia is expected to be a crucial issue in Spain’s general election in December.
“I am ready to listen and to talk, but not in any way to liquidate the law”, Rajoy said in his first public remarks since Sunday’s victory for the separatists.
Regional president Artur Mas and his Together for Yes alliance won enough seats in the regional parliament to make an absolute majority if they team up with a radical left-wing group, the CUP. “The economic things that have been appearing in the campaign were only scaremongering, were only threats, they were only trying to disrupt the vote”.
“Of those seats, Mas” Together for Yes coalition took 62, while its alliance partners Popular Unity Candidacy won 10.
Catalans from both sides of the independence divide are fiercely proud of their Catalan language, which is spoken along with Spanish and was suppressed under three decades of Gen. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. European leaders have warned an independent Catalonia would not be allowed in the European Union, though secessionists have said they would try to stay in the bloc.
France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who was born in Barcelona, called on Monday for Spain to remain “united and strong” a day after the election victory of Catalan separatists.