NEWSFLASH! The Result of the “Plebiscite” on Catalan Independence Not Quite what Secessionists Hoped for

NewsSpain
Since Junts’ secession is too big to get rolling on a simple parliamentary majority, President Artur Mas will need CUP’s support

By Rose Maramba

 

The Catalan people have just turned out massively to vote in their regional election this Sunday. In everything but on paper the regional parliamentary election was a plebiscite on the independence of Catalonia from Spain.

So much bitter controversy has surrounded the election since it was clearly against the Spanish Constitution for any part of the national territory to break away. The pro- Catalonia independence bloc Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes), led with much calculated fanfare by Catalonia Premier Artur Mas and consisting of the Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (Democratic Convergence of Catalonia) and the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya the (Catalan Republican Left), has however been arguing that seeking independence from Spain is a matter of self-determination which any self-respecting political organization would not only find legitimate but also an exercise in democracy.

Junts pel Si, the pro-secession coalition obetween Artur Mas' CDC and Oriol Junquera's ERC, is launched on July, just a couple of months before tje "plebsicite"

Junts pel Si, the pro-secession coalition spearheaded by Artur Mas and Oriol Junquera, is launched on 15 July, less than three months before the Catalonia “plebsicite”. Junquera is on the far right, Mas next

After heavy campaigning by all participating parties, here are the results with 100% of the votes tabulated:

Junts pel Si wins 62 of the 135 regional parliamentary seats (39.57% of the valid votes cast)
Citizens – Party of the Citizenry (Ciutadans – Partit de la Ciutadania) 25 seats (17.91%)
Socialist Party of Catalunya (Partit Socialista de Catalunya) 16 seats (12.72%)
Catalonia Yes We Can (Catalunya Sí que es Pot) 11 seats (8.93%)
Popular Party (Partido Popular) 11 seats (8.50%)
Popular Unity Candidacy (Candidatura d’Unitat Popular or CUP) 10 seats (8.31%)

Below these numbers none of the other political parties will have any parliamentary representation.
Junts pel Si failed to win the absolute majority (68 seats) it was hoping it would win, and might even have convinced itself it would be a fait accompli.

Since Junts’ secession is too big to get rolling on a simple parliamentary majority, and the absentee ballots, which haven’t been counted yet, are not likely to help Artur Mas achieve the prized absolute majority, he will need CUP’s support. CUP is a radical secessionist party, making it a natural ally for Junts. Except that CUP leaders have been saying during the election campaign that joining up with Junts just to put together an absolute majority of parliamentary seats wouldn’t do if the sum total of their joint votes fall short of absolute majority in terms of ballots cast.

The Generalitat de Catalunya lasered with the Catalan flag.

The Catalan flag projected on the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya: “Catalonia is in for political instability”

The Spanish voting system (the d’Hondt method), which applies to Catalonia and the rest of the Spanish regions, does not translate votes to strictly proportional number of seats.

Besides, CUP has been saying that it would not support the re-election of Artur Mas as president of the Generalitat (the Catalonia regional government).

Following the results of the Sunday election, political pundits are predicting Catalonia is in for political instability. Already nobody is talking about a four-year term for whoever is voted president. It seems Catalan leaders, whether for or against secession, are giving themselves 18 months to decide what moves to make. After which short period they plan to hold snap election.

Ciutadans on the night of the election. Says its leader Albert Rivera: thanks to Ciutadas

In his “victory speech” on the night of the election, Albert Rivera said: “Thanks to Ciutadans Spain remains united and we Catalans remain Spanish and Europeans”

Ciutadans, which supports Spain’s territorial integrity, and garnered a surprising second largest number of votes, have called for the immediate resignation of Mas who, until a new government is formed out of the election results, is interim president.

So what now? Even with a secessionist absolute majority of parliamentary seats between Junts pel Si and CUP, the Catalans will still be split in the middle ballot by ballot. What to do with the Catalans who want to stick to Spain?

The weather forecast for Catalonia is stormy.

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Images
>Featured image: CUP at the Casino l’Aliança del Poblenou  on the night of the election, from CUP’s Facebook account (https://en-gb.facebook.com/unitatpopular), announced in CUP’s official website http://cup.cat/
>Launching of Junts pel Si. From left, Raül Romeva, Carme Forcadell, Muriel Casals, Artur Mas, Oriol Junqueras. By DaniCo46 (https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:DaniCo46&action=edit&redlink=1) CC-BY-SA 4.0
>Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya, from the Generalitat de Cataluny Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/gencat/photos
>Election night with Ciutadans: Ciutadan’s official website (https://www.ciudadanos-cs.org/)