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Regional elections in Catalonia

Spain
21.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Catalonia votes in regional elections after independence crisis
Polling stations across Catalonia have opened following a months-long political crisis triggered by a referendum for independence from Spain. Thursday's early regional elections, announced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government at the end of October, were one of several measures taken by Madrid after the Catalan parliament declared independence from Spain.
GALLERY
Madrid (dpa) - Voter surveys point to a neck-and-neck race between Catalan separatist parties and the so-called constitutional camps as Spain waits to see whether pro-independence parties can again win a majority of parliamentary seats and build a coalition government.
Some 5.5 million Catalans are eligible to vote, with observers expecting an unusually high voter turnout of more than 80 per cent.

Some 5.5 million Catalans are eligible to vote, with observers expecting an unusually high voter turnout of more than 80 per cent.

Madrid bumped up security in the region in anticipation of violence, with local media reporting that the Spanish Interior Ministry deployed some 15,000 police officers to patrol during voting hours.

Catalonia, a wealthy region in Spain‘s north-east with a culture and language distinct from the rest of the country, was until recently led by the government of Carles Puigdemont, who held the independence referendum on October 1 and initiated a process of secession from Spain.

The move created a constitutional crisis, leading Rajoy‘s conservative government in Madrid to suspend the Barcelona government, place it under Madrid‘s control and call for new regional elections at the end of October. Catalonia‘s regular legislative period would have lasted until 2019.

Puigdemont and four of his ministers absconded to Brussels, while several other members of his administration were placed under arrest.

 

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Polling stations across Catalonia have opened following a months-long political crisis triggered by a referendum for independence from Spain. Thursday's early regional elections, announced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government at
The former leader of Catalonia, who led the Spanish region to a declaration of independence last year and subsequently fled to Belgium, has said he will not seek to regain his former post "for the time being." Madrid (dpa) - Renouncing a
 
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