Catalan pro-independence parties win regional elections

Madrid, Sep 28 (IANS) Pro-independence parties in Spain’s Catalonia region have won an absolute majority in regional elections, near complete results show, the media reported on Monday.

Catalans went to the polls on Sunday in the crucial regional election, billed as a de facto referendum on independence. More than five million people were eligible to cast their vote.

With 99.67 percent of the votes counted, the “Junts per Si” (Together for Yes) won 62 seats, while the far-left separatist Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) party is expected to secure 10 mandates.

“We have won,” Catalan regional president Artus Mas told his cheering supporters late on Sunday.

After a celebration rally, the pro-independence camp’s leaders told the BBC that they would now proceed towards the creation of an independent Catalan state.

The pro-independence parties have argued that the Spanish government has consistently refused to allow a legally recognised referendum to take place, ignoring an unofficial vote backing independence in November 2014.

However, the centre-right government in Madrid has described any breakaway plans as “nonsense”.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the loss of Catalonia would affect the whole country, and the democratic approach would be for all of the country to vote in a referendum on Catalonia’s future.

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