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Would a snap election in Catalonia stop the self-rule suspension?

Spanish parties disagree on whether Madrid should go ahead with Article 155 if Puigdemont calls an early election

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25 October 2017 03:11 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The moment is nearing when the Spanish Senate votes on Article 155 on Friday, thus paving the way for the government in Madrid to impose direct rule in Catalonia. Yet, it is not clear how will the Catalan government respond to the imminent self-rule suspension — and whether a snap election, as it was earlier suggested, would be enough to preempt the Spanish president Mariano Rajoy from taking over the Catalan executive.

“There are two things we need to do: First of all, restore legality: this is why we put Article 155 of the Constitution in motion,” Rajoy said at the Spanish Parliament on Wednesday. The next step would be for his government to call a snap election in Catalonia no later than in 6 months; Rajoy did not make clear, however, whether Catalan president Carles Puigdemont can prevent the self-rule suspension by calling an early election himself.

  • “There are two things we need to do: First of all, restore legality: this is why we put Article 155 of the Constitution in motion”

    Mariano Rajoy · Spanish president

The division among Spanish parties became apparent on Wednesday. Spain’s main opposition party, the Socialists, said Article 155 must not be used if Puigdemont calls a snap election. Some sources within Spain’s ruling People’s Party, though, disagree with them and say this would not be enough to prevent them from imposing self-rule. Unionist Ciutadans stress the importance of making sure that the State supervises the elections in Catalonia in order to guarantee that the results are “valid”.

"Worst possible scenario"

The possibility of a snap election is also causing some division between pro-independence parties. According to CUP, the only allies of the Catalan government, a snap election would be “the worst scenario possible” and “the most efficient and lethal tool” to stop the pro-independence movement.

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  • Spanish president Mariano Rajoy speaking to leader of the PSOE Pedro Sànchez ini Madrid (by Tània Tàpia)

  • Spanish president Mariano Rajoy speaking to leader of the PSOE Pedro Sànchez ini Madrid (by Tània Tàpia)