December 2, 2020

Spain dissolves Catalan parliament, calls snap elections

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By Sheetal Sukhija – From Indonesian News

MADRID, Spain – Pushing ahead with its previously threatened imposition of direct rule on Catalonia – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, on Friday, dissolved the Catalan parliament and calling snap local elections in the region.

Rajoy is also firing Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, his cabinet and the Catalan police chief.

The Spanish Prime Minister also closed down Catalonia’s representative offices overseas.

In his statement, Rajoy said that the unprecedented imposition of direct rule on Catalonia was essential to “recover normality.”

On Friday, a motion declaring independence was approved with 70 in favour, 10 against, and two abstentions in the 135-seat chamber.

While several opposition MPs boycotted the vote, thousands of people took to the streets in Barcelona to celebrate, and Spanish flags were removed from some regional government buildings.

According to Separatists, the move means they no longer fall under Spanish jurisdiction.

However, the Spanish Constitutional Court is likely to declare it illegal, while the EU, the U.S., the U.K., Germany and France all expressed support for Spanish unity.

Following the declaration of independence, the Spanish Senate granted Rajoy’s government the power to impose direct rule on Catalonia.

Rajoy then held an emergency cabinet meeting in which he detailed all the actions that would be taken.

He said, “The president [Carles Puigdemont] had the opportunity to return to legality and to call elections. It is what the majority of the Catalonian people asked for – but he didn’t want to do it. So the government of Spain is taking the necessary measures to return to legality.”

Now, regional elections are scheduled for December 21.

Further, Spanish prosecutors have said that they will file charges of “rebellion” against Puigdemont next week.

On Friday, European leaders clarified that they would not be recognizing Catalan independence and would support Rajoy, as leader of one of the bloc’s most important member states.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, wrote in a Twitter post that “nothing changes” and “Spain remains our only interlocutor.”

On October 1, Catalan leaders held an independence referendum, defying a ruling by the Constitutional Court which had declared it illegal and unconstitutional.

According to the Catalan government, of the 43 percent of potential voters who participated in the vote, 90 percent were in favour of independence, while others boycotted the vote after the court ruling.

After the referendum, Puigdemont signed a declaration of independence but delayed implementation – calling for talks with the Spanish government.

Puigdemont also ignored warnings by the Madrid government to cancel the move, prompting Rajoy to first announce his plans to remove Catalan leaders and impose direct rule.

The move by Spain has escalated the biggest political crisis to hit Spain in decades.

Rajoy said in his televised address, “We believe it is urgent to listen to Catalan citizens, to all of them, so that they can decide their future and nobody can act outside the law on their behalf. We never wanted to reach this situation, never.”

Spain is now set to directly control one of the country’s autonomous regions for the first time since the country embraced democracy in 1978.

For more on this story go to: http://www.indonesianews.net/news/255178051/spain-dissolves-catalan-parliament-calls-snap-elections

IMAGE: WN.COM

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