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Catalan separatists win majority in snap elections


Catalan separatists won another majority government in Thursday’s regional elections after a record number of voters took to the polls in snap elections, APA reports quoting AA.

 

The most-voted party was the unionist Ciutadans party, which won 36 seats. However, the three main separatist parties that previously ruled the region with a coalition government managed to secure 70 seats and 47.5 percent of the popular vote.

 

An absolute majority in Catalonia is 68 seats. In the last regional elections in 2015, the pro-independence parties won 72 seats, which shows support has slipped slightly but that Catalan society remains split down the middle in terms of independence.

 

The victory of the separatists raises many complications in Spain. First of all, the candidate of the main separatist party, Carles Puigdemont, is currently in Brussels. If he returns to Spain, he will be automatically arrested, as he faces the serious charges of rebellion and sedition for leading the Catalan parliament to declare independence in late October. 


The leader of the other main separatist party and former vice president, Oriol Junqueras, faces the same charges and is currently being held on remand in a Spanish prison.


The other question mark is cast over whether or not Spain, which imposed direct rule on the region after the government declared independence, will return the power to the separatist government.


The turnout for Thursday’s elections was historically high, with more than 80 percent of voters casting their ballots. 


The polls opened at 9:00 a.m local time (0800GMT) and closed at 8:00 p.m. local time (1900GMT).

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