Separatists lead Catalonia vote in Spain
Four separatist parties in Spain’s Catalonia looked set to win a majority in regional elections on Sunday, partial results showed, but the main one was on course to lose some seats, possibly undermining its bid to call an independence referendum.
With a quarter of votes counted, the ruling Convergence and Union alliance, or CiU, was winning 47 seats in the 135-seat local parliament, well down from its current 62 seats.
The separatist Republican Left, or ERC, was winning 21 seats, with two other smaller separatist parties taking a total of 15 seats, giving the four parties 60 percent between them.
Exit polls show that Catalan president Artur Mas received a majority of votes and will maintain his coalition government. His win may lead to a referendum on Catalan independence, as Mas says separatism could cure the country’s financial problems.
Artur Mas’s center-right Convergence and Union Party (CIU) party gets between 54 and 57 seats in the 135-seat Parliament so far. But in order to hold a majority in the regional assembly, his coalition would need at least 68 seats.
The Separatist Catalan Republican Left won between 20 and 23 seats, local news station TV3′s exit poll estimated. Two smaller pro-independence parties secured at least 15 seats between them.
Spain’s Prime Minister’s People’s Party won between 16 and 18 seats. The Socialists also won between 16 and 18 seats, the TV3 exit poll suggests.
Meanwhile, election officials are counting the ballots. With over 90 per cent of the votes counted, CIU is projected to take only 50 seats.
Over 69 per cent of the region’s registered voters took part in the election.
Pro-independence parties in Catalonia won Sunday’s regional vote, strengthening a drive for a referendum on secession in defiance of the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy.
The Catalan President, Artur Mas, who called early elections to force the debate on independence, won 50 of the 135 seats in the regional assembly for his Convergencia i Unio party, down from 62, according to the regional government, with 93 per cent of the vote counted. The separatist Catalan Republican Left more than doubled its seats to 21 from 10. Two smaller parties that also back a plebiscite secured 16 seats.
Mr Rajoy, weakened by recession and speculation that Spain needs a European bailout, says a referendum on secession is unconstitutional. Mr Mas’s failure to secure a majority for his party may leave him dependent on separatist parties to govern Spain’s largest regional economy.
we need an update from Rosario here..will they or wont they?