Separatist parties keep majority in Catalonia election

Separatist parties keep majority in Catalonia election

Catalan separatist parties are on track to win most seats in the new regional parliament, setting the stage for more confrontation with Spain’s government.

The Citizens party, which wants Catalonia to remain a semi-autonomous part of Spain, is the biggest party, therefore, it is unclear who will be given the right to form a government, BBC reported.

The Madrid government stripped Catalonia of its autonomy and called the election after declaring an October independence referendum illegal.

With nearly all votes counted, the pro-independence parties Together for Catalonia (JxCat), Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and Popular Unity (CUP) were on course to win a total of 70 seats, giving them a majority.

Within the separatist party block, ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont’s JxCat was slightly ahead of the ERC, led by his former deputy, Oriol Junqueras.

Speaking in Brussels, where he is in self-imposed exile, Puigdemont said the “Catalan republic” had won and “the Spanish state has been defeated”.

The situation called for “rectification, reparation and restitution,” he was quoted as saying.

He is accused by Spanish prosecutors of rebellion and sedition. Junqueras faces the same charges and is currently in prison.

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