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Catalan independence supporters wave a 'estelada' ( pro-independence Catalan flag ) celebrate at the ANC ( Catalan National Assembly ) headquarters after results of the regional elections in Barcelona, ​​Spain, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. The pro-secession bloc won a majority but the anti-independence Ciutadans (Citizens), led by 36-year-old lawyer Ines Arrimadas, won the highest number of votes for a single party. ANC is Catalan pro independence platform promoting the political independence of Catalonia. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

More than two months after the self-determination referendum, the Catalans were called to the polls on Thursday to renew the regional parliament.

Bet won for the separatists? According to almost final results, Thursday, December 21, the three independence parties (ERC-CatSi, Together for Catalonia, CUP) obtain the majority of seats in the regional parliament - 70 out of 135. However, it is the liberal centrist party Cuidadanos who arrives leading the vote with 25% of the vote (37 seats) while participation reached a historic level (82%, against 75% in 2015).

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The Together for Catalonia list, of deposed separatist president Carles Puigdemont, would get 34 elected, and the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), of its imprisoned ex-vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, would have 32.

With the anti-capitalists of the CUP (4 elected), the three independence lists would thus obtain together 70 seats and would regain the absolute majority they had in the parliament dissolved by the central government. The party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the People's Party, won only 4% of the vote and 3 seats.

Puigdemont celebrates

The Catalan separatist leader in exile Carles Puigdemont hailed the victory of the independence camp on Thursday evening in Brussels, stressing that it is "a result that no one can argue". He added that it was a victory for the "Catalan Republic" on the Spanish state.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano “Rajoy lost the plebiscite he was looking for”, and the fact that the independence camp remains in the majority is " a slap ", Jubilee Mr. Puigdemont in front of a small audience of Catalan independence activists and Flemish nationalist sympathizers gathered in a room in the center of Brussels.

“Our position on the issue of Catalonia is well known and has been reiterated regularly, and at all levels. She won't change. As this is a regional election, we have no comment to make”, said for his part a spokesperson for the European Commission, Alexandre Winterstein.

These elections were held more than two months after the self-determination referendum organized by the Catalan government, despite Madrid's refusal. The yes then won with 90% of the vote, but with only 43% participation.

Catalonia has "won the right to have an independent state in the form of a republic", then launches the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont. Then followed several weeks of tension and ultimatums between Madrid and Barcelona.

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On October 27, the Catalan deputies vote a declaration proclaiming the independence of Catalonia by 70 votes for and 10 against. The break with Madrid is consummated, but the symbolic victory is short-lived.

Less than an hour later, the Senate votes for the application of article 155 of the Constitution, which allows Mariano Rajoy to place Catalonia under guardianship. The Spanish prime minister assumes the presidency of the region, dismisses the Catalan government, dissolves the regional parliament and calls regional elections on December 21.

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While the unionists are beginning to make themselves heard and to mobilize in the streets, Mr. Puigdemont is the subject of a complaint from the prosecution, at the end of October, in particular for "rebellion, sedition and embezzlement". He will then decide to flee to Belgium, where he has been campaigning for these elections in recent weeks.


Source: ©  Elections in Catalonia: Puigdemont boasts "a result that no one can discuss"

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