A coalition of secessionist parties has won an absolute majority in the Catalan regional parliament. The single party with the most seats, however, was the pro-Madrid Citizens party.
Ousted regional President Carles Puigdemont is set to regain power in Catalonia after his Together for Catalonia (Junts per Catalonia) party captured 34 seats in Thursday’s election. Together with the 36 seats of the two other pro-independence parties, the separatists are headed for an absolute majority in the 135-seat regional parliament.
Puigdemont’s bloc had fared slightly better in the last regional elections in 2015, however, when the pro-independence parties earned 72 seats.
The secessionist parties garnered only 48 percent of the popular vote. The pro-Madrid Citizens party won the most seats outright with 37, but will not be able to form as substantial a coalition as the secessionists.
Speaking from exile in Brussels, Puigdemont called the election a victory for the “Catalan Republic” as well as a “slap in the face” to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
“I think we have earned the right to be listened to,” he added.