Catalonia’s far left has ruled out supporting a regional government led by the pro-business and unionist Citizens party, making another separatist administration almost inevitable.
Although the Citizens placed first in December’s election, winning 36 out of 135 seats, their gains came at the expense of other parties that want Catalonia to remain Spanish.
The balance between separatists and unionists has barely changed: the former have seventy seats, the latter 57.
The remaining eight seats went to Catalonia in Common, a left-wing alliance that includes the regional branch of Podemos. It rejects both independence and Spain’s suspension of Catalan home rule.
There was nevertheless a way for the Citizens to form a government.
Because seven of the elected separatists, including Carles Puigdemont, the deposed regional president, and Oriol Junqueras, the leader of the Republican Left, are either in self-imposed exile or in jail, a majority of 63 lawmakers might have sufficed to take power.
Inés Arrimadas, the leader of the Citizens, said in a radio interview on Wednesday that “if those who have fled do not renounce their seats so that others can occupy their places, we will be there to attempt to win the presidency.”
That would still have required at least six deputies from Catalonia in Common in vote with her, though.