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Catalan President: “a clear absolute majority” is needed for creation of new independent state

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, insisted on Friday that “a clear absolute majority” will be needed for the pro-independence parties in the early elections scheduled for 27 September to make the world understand that the creation of a new independent state must be negotiated. In a radio interview, Mas explained that the road map towards independence - if there is an electoral majority - is still being negotiated among the different parties and organisations, in order to run separately but with a shared road map in case of victory. This road map would include demanding the start of immediate negotiations with the Spanish Authorities to reach an agreement on Catalonia’s independence from Spain if a majority of citizens vote for this scenario on the 27th of September. 

16 January 2015 05:44 PM

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ACN

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Barcelona (ACN).- The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, insisted on Friday that “a clear absolute majority” will be needed among the pro-independence parties in the early elections scheduled for 27 September to make the world understand that the creation of a new independent state must be negotiated. However, he did not specify the number of votes or MPs that would qualify as a “clear absolute majority”. In a radio interview, Mas explained that the road map towards independence - if there is an electoral majority - is still being negotiated among the different parties and organisations, in order to run separately but with a shared road map in case of victory. It will be ready in the coming weeks or months, he said. This road map would include demanding the start of immediate negotiations with the Spanish Authorities to reach an agreement on Catalonia’s independence from Spain if a majority of citizens vote for this scenario on the 27th of September. In order to hold elections on this day, the Catalan President announced he will officially call them on the 3 August. Mas promised that it will be the last time he will run for President of the Catalan Government.


On Thursday evening, in a television interview, Mas also stated that up until the elections, there will be only minimum changes in the Catalan Government or no changes at all. He was therefore ruling out the possibility of having a broad cabinet change and incorporating many Ministers proposed by the left-wing Catalan independence party ERC, with which Mas reached an agreement on the early elections on Wednesday evening. The governing centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU and the ERC have been sharing a parliamentary stability agreement since December 2012, after the previous Catalan elections.

Back then, an absolute majority of citizens voted for parties proposing a legal self-determination vote for Catalonia (they obtained 80% of the seats). Despite this clear electoral mandate and the numerous demands from Catalan representatives and its civil society (including peaceful demonstrations with more than 1.5 million participants), the Spanish Government decided to ignore them, reject any talk about this issue and show total opposition to Catalonia’s self-determination. Furthermore, the Spanish Government continued with its recentralisation of powers and cultural homogenisation agendas.

27 September will “probably not be the definitive vote”

The Catalan President stated both on Thursday and on Friday that these early elections are not the ideal referendum, but they are the only option left for giving Catalan citizens the chance to have their say about independence in a legal and democratic vote. However, Mas also said that these elections are “probably not the definitive vote”, since if Catalans vote for pro-independence parties on 27 September, a new status will have to be negotiated with the Spanish authorities and the international community, and a new Constitution will have to be drafted. Catalans will have to validate all these steps through at least one or maybe several referendums. 

No communication with Rajoy

Finally, regarding his communication with the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, Mas acknowledged that they have not talked since the end of July, when the Catalan President went to Rajoy’s official residence La Moncloa and met with him. Mas said that back then the Spanish PM told him he would call to further discuss some issues related to the 23 demands and proposals made by Mas on issues not related to self-determination, such as employment, public finances and social inclusion. The Catalan President announced that Rajoy has not called him during these past 6 months. “It means he does not want to talk to me”, he said. “The communication I had with Rajoy has been via criminal complaints filed by them”, stated Mas, referring to the penal prosecution launched by the Spanish authorities for the symbolic vote on independence that took place on 9 November.

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  • The Catalan President, Artur Mas, being interviewed by the privately-owned radio station Rac 1 (by R. Garrido)

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