Catalan Separatists Claim Mandate to Break Away from Spain

Pro-independence parties win a majority of the seats in Catalonia, but not a majority of the votes.

Artur Mas Oriol Junqueras
Catalan party leaders Artur Mas and Oriol Junqueras attend a rally in Castelldefels, September 3 (CDC)
  • Separatist parties won 72 out of 135 seats in Catalonia’s legislature, a majority of five.
  • However, they only got 48 percent support.
  • Regional president Artur Mas nevertheless claimed a mandate to continue the process of breaking away from Spain.
  • The far-left and separatist Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) — which otherwise opposes Mas — will be needed for a majority.
  • The centrist Ciudadanos won 25 seats, overtaking the Socialists and conservative People’s Party as leaders of the anti-independence opposition.