With over 96 percent of votes counted, pro-independence parties have achieved an absolute majority in Catalan parliament elections Sunday, paving the way for the Spanish region to start a possible unilateral process of secession from Madrid.
With all votes counted, independence alliance Junts pel Si won 62 seats, which combined with fellow independence party CUP, with 10 seats, makes an absolute majority.
However, although independence parties have won a majority of seats, in percentage they are lagging behind pro Spanish parties, who are up by about 4 percent.
An added complication is that although CUP supports separation from Madrid, the left-wing, socialist party which prioritizes environmental issues, has not officially pledged support to Junts pel Si if it is called upon to form a coalition.
Citizens, a moderate, non-independence party, are the second political force in Catalonia with 25 seats.
The Catalan branch of the left-wing PODEMOS, Si Que Es Pot, won 10 seats.
Turnout hit record levels for the vote considered crucial in deciding the future of Catalonia, at 77.21 percent.
Catalan president, Artur Mas, has said that the parliamentary election was a de facto independence plebiscite, and that an absolute majority would allow him to unilaterally declare independence within 18 months.
The independence movement faces fierce opposition from Madrid, which has threatened to withdraw Spanish nationality from Catalans, and manipulated a quote from European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker to read that an independent Catalonia would not be recognized by the European Union. The quote, mistranslated from English, in fact said that it was not a matter that the Commission would comment on. The vote may have reverberations in Spain’s general elections in December.
Source : Telesur