Catalan separatists claim victory in regional vote
AFP | Barcelona September 28, 2015
Separatists in Catalonia have claimed victory in a regional election that they have vowed will lead to them declaring the region independent from Spain.
“We have won,” bellowed nationalist regional president Artur Mas before a crowd of supporters yelling and waving flags at an open-air rally in Barcelona yesterday.
Official results with 80 per cent of the votes counted indicated Mas’s pro-independence alliance will hold an absolute majority in the regional parliament if it teams up with the radical left-wing, pro-independence group CUP.
With 83 per cent of the votes counted, Mas’s Together For Yes alliance had 63 seats and the CUP had 10 seats, according to figures published by the regional government.
That gave them a joint total of 73 seats, above the 68 needed for an absolute majority in the 135-seat regional parliament.
Those partial results gave Together For Yes 39.36 per cent of the vote, with 8.12 per cent for the CUP – or a combined total of 47.48 per cent for the two pro-independence forces.
Together For Yes has vowed to declare independence by 2017 if it secures a majority in the parliament, even without a majority of votes.
After the Spanish government blocked him from holding a straight referendum on secession, Mas framed yesterday’s vote for the regional parliament as an indirect vote on independence, heightening tensions with Madrid.
Spain’s national government brands secession illegal and wants the country to stay united as the eurozone’s fourth- biggest economy recovers from recession.