The Catalan regional parliament has voted for independence from Madrid; the national parliament has responded by invoking Article 155 of the constitution in order to rescind Catalonia’s autonomous powers.

Catalonia’s lawmakers have voted for independence from Madrid, claiming they have a “mandate for secession” after a referendum earlier this month. The motion to declare an “Independent Republic” was voted for by secret ballot in the regional parliament in Barcelona on Friday.

Out of 135 lawmakers, 82 took part in the vote, of which 85% voted in favor of independence with only 10 votes against. Two lawmakers casted blank ballots. Minutes prior to the vote on independence, 39% of the Catalan lawmakers from the Socialist Party, People’s Party, and Ciudadanos left the chamber in protest.

In response, less than an hour later the parliament in Madrid voted to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which allows the national parliament to fire the government of an autonomous region, install a technocratic government and call new elections. This marks the first time the article has been used since the Spanish constitution was established in 1978.

Spain’s PM Mariano Rajoy has called on Spaniards to remain calm and vowed to restore the rule of law in the country. However, the president of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell has asked the EU to recognize its “Declaration of Independence”, which follows a referendum held October 1, 2017 that was not recognized by the dictators in Madrid.

The European Commission described the referendum as “not legal” and an “internal matter for Spain. The Catalan authorities held the referendum despite a ruling from Spain’s Constitutional Court which declared it void. However, currently, Catalonia has extensive powers in areas such as civil law, the police, education, health care agriculture and tourism.

Amid violent oppressive clashes with police, turnout exceeded 43 percent. More than 2.28 million voters, or 90.18 percent of those who voted, supported the secession of Catalonia from Spain.

Sputnik / AA Magnum Analyst Blog News-Site 2017.


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