Independence debate as Catalonia holds regional elections

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Parliament of Catalonia logo.svg

Regional elections are taking place today in Catalonia, Spain, in which the biggest talking point is whether the autonomous region should become an independent country. The polls are being held early as the national government has not allowed an official referendum on independence. Opinion polls, according to Reuters, suggest the secessionists will win more than half of the 135 regional Parliament seats but less than half of the popular vote.

The pro-independence parties include the Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes) coalition and the left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP). If they win a clear majority, the Junts pel Sí hopes to hold further elections in eighteen months after developing future state institutions such as a separate tax office. However, they might have to find a compromise candidate for regional president because CUP does not support the incumbent, Artur Mas. The CUP is also campaigning for Catalonia to leave the European Union.

Cquote1.svg United we will win Cquote2.svg

Mariano Rajoy
Prime Minister of Spain

In contrast, the People's Party, led by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, has called for Catalonia to remain within Spain. Rajoy took part in a campaign video on Friday in which he says "united we will win".

Other parties in the election include the Socialists' Party of Catalonia, which has called for a federal solution, and the Ciutadans (Citizens), which is proposing a reform of the financial balance between the national and regional governments.

Voting was due to finish at 8pm local time (1800 UTC) today and more than 5 million people are eligible to participate.

File photo of "Catalonia is not Spain" poster, 2007.
Image: Christian Van Der Henst S.


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