While Spanish Parliament Dissolves, Catalonia Strives for Independence
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told he would not seek to stay on as prime minister if his People’s Party wasn’t the most popular in the general election in December.
“If my party does not win the most votes, I won’t try to be prime minister,” Rajoy said during a press conference to close parliament before the election and formally call the election, – The Reuters Agency reports.
The People’s Party has enjoyed an absolute parliamentary majority since winning the election from the Socialists at the end of 2011. However a crushing economic crisis, unpopular austerity measures and massive unemployment has seen the party to loose support in the polls.
Rajoy’s cabinet agreed to dissolve parliament on Monday, official paving the way for an election on December 20 which is likely to be one of the most closely-fought in over three decades and could result in a new era of coalitions, according to El Pais.
Meanwhile, the Parliament of Catalonia formed after the September 27 regional vote, convened in its first session on Monday, October 26.
The pro-independence ”Junts pel Si” (Together for Yes) coalition and their allies from the radical left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy party secured 72 seats in the 135-member Catalan parliament. The People’s Party of Catalonia, affiliated with the Spanish People’s Party, holds 11 seats in the regional unicameral legislature, as The Catalan News tells.
The parliament’s new president Carme Forcadell immediately made it clear that the objective was to become independent from Spain in the next 18 months.
”We represent a sovereign parliament which wants to represent a free people. We are transitioning from a regional parliament with limited powers to a national parliament with full capabilities,” said Forcadell, who is the ex-leader of secessionist movement ”Junts pel si.”
Recall that Artur Mas in turn is the acting regional President and the first round of elections to elect a new president will be held on November 9.