Catalan President ready to call early elections to achieve independence from Spain in 18 months
The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, proposed the next steps in Catalonia’s self-determination process: early elections to the Catalan Parliament and, if a single pro-independence list get an absolute majority, negotiations to reach full independence in 18 months. Such a list should be formed by independent personalities and recognised professionals, who should commit to only run once, with traditional parties adopting a secondary role. After negotiating independence and building the new state’s basic structures, a referendum to ratify the new state’s genesis and constituent elections would be called, in which traditional parties would again be running separately. Mas said he was ready to be the front-runner or to end such a list, the latter case ruling out the possibility of his being re-elected. However, he will only call early elections if parties and civil society organisations transform them into such a ‘de facto’ referendum on independence. After years of peaceful citizen mobilisations, now “it is time for the definitive vote” and the “only” way of doing it is through early elections, he said.