Pro-independence parties win majority in Catalan elections

Pro-independence parties won a majority in the Spanish region of Catalonia’s parliament after a snap election on Thursday.

Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont delivered a speech from Brussels after pro-independence parties won a majority in the Spanish region's Parliament during a snap election on Thursday. Photo by Stephanie Lecocq/EPA
Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont delivered a speech from Brussels after pro-independence parties won a majority in the Spanish region’s Parliament during a snap election on Thursday. Photo by Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

No single party gained an outright majority in the election, but three separatist parties won a total of 70 seats, two more than necessary to hold a majority in the 135-seat Parliament.

Carles Puigdemont, the former president of Catalan whose Together for Catalonia won 34 seats said Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, “received a hit, a blow by the Catalans” after the election.

“The Catalan Republic has won, the Spanish government was defeated,” he said. “They lost their coup d’etat.”

Spain held the election after Catalonia’s attempt to declare independence from Spain in October, following a landslide referendum vote. Madrid fired Catalonian leaders, including Puigdemont, in the aftermath in accordance with the Spanish Constitution, and scheduled the new vote.

Marta Rovira of the Republican Left of Catalonia celebrated her party’s 32 Parliament seats by shouting “Freedom” with party supporters.

The anti-independence Citizens Party actually won the most seats of any single party with 37, in addition to 25 percent of the vote.

Following the election Catalonia will engage in a series of likely intense discussions to determine issues, including who will become the region’s next president.

Puigdemont, who is in a self-imposed exile in Brussels, said he would return to Catalonia if he won a presidential race, but he could still face arrest for his role in the illegal referendum.

Oriol Junqueras, the former vice president, is presently detained in a Madrid prison, after Rajoy invoked Article 155 of Spain’s constitution to oust the Catalan leaders.

By Daniel Uria