It has been over three months since Catalonia declared independence on Oct. 27 following a referendum that solidified the region’s support of its separatist ruling government but the region currently lies in political limbo.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariono Rajoy cracked down on the regional government the following day, sending then-President Carles Puigdemont and much of his cabinet fleeing the country for Belgium where he remains in exile.
On Dec. 21, Madrid forced an election that resulted in a separatist victory, maintaining nearly the same amount of power that it had before.
Rajoy’s People’s Party was decimated in the election and only held four seats in the end, meaning it was unable to form a parliamentary group of its own in the Catalan parliament for the first time in history
While Mr. Puigdemont can return from self-imposed exile in Brussels at any point to take up his role as elected president of Catalonia, he would risk arrest if he landed in Barcelona.
Four other independence politicians are still detained by Spanish authorities while Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya works to form a needed coalition government with fellow separatists Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, or the Republican Left.
Three parties gained over 30 seats in the Catalan parliament in December. Two of them are pro-independence.
The results in numbers for pro-independence and other parties
- 37 seats – Ciudadanos
- 34 seats – Junts per Catalunya
- 32 seats – Republican Left
- 17 seats – PSC
- 8 seats – CeC
- 4 seats – CUP
- 3 seats People’s Party
While they don’t hold a majority, pro-independence seats number 47.5 per cent, a strong minority, however, just short of the the majority that would boost separatist claims to a democratic mandate in leaving Spain.
The federal government under Rajoy currently runs the region of Catalonia until its parliament can form a stable political alliance and create a new administration.
Rajoy has shown that he is capable of employing Article 155 of the Constitution to halt any true independence effort by the Catalonia’s government, and he has the support of the European Union and the distant backing of NATO.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, of which Spain, Canada, parts of Europe and the United States are part of, supports territorial sovereignty for its members.
More details to follow. Image of Catalonia’s parliament from