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Pedro Sánchez and Salvador Illa, at the last Socialist Party rally Europa Press
Spain's Socialist party wins historic regional election in Catalonia
Politics

Spain's Socialist party wins historic regional election in Catalonia

It is Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s party's first victory at a local election in Catalonia and comes after his strategy to grant separatists amnesty over an illegal independence referendum

SUR in English

Monday, 13 May 2024, 10:25

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Spain’s Socialist Party has won the biggest share of votes in Sunday’s regional election in Catalonia, dealing a major blow to the separatist parties.

It’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s first victory at a local election in Catalonia and comes after his controversial strategy last year to grant separatists amnesty over an illegal independence referendum.

The Socialists secured 42 out of 135 seats in the Catalan parliament on 12 May, with almost all votes counted. Party leader Salvador Illa said the results meant a “new era” in the region.

Catalonia’s pro-separatist parties fell short of the combined 68 seats required to form a coalition government for the first time in over a decade, since before the push for independence started. The Socialist party also fell short of a majority and will need to reach an agreement with others in the chamber to form government.

The separatist Junts party of Carles Puigdemont, the man who as Catalan president in 2017 attempted to declare independence from Spain, came in second with 35 seats, while fellow separatists ERC won 20 seats, with others trailing further behind. Puigdemont congratulated the Socialists on the victory and warned a tripartite government is a "bad option" for the country. “The candidacy that I led had a good result, we are the only pro-independence force to increase in votes and seats, and we assume the responsibility that comes,” Puigdemont said. “But that is not enough to compensate for the losses of the other separatist parties.”

The center-right People’s Party also saw its share of seats jump to 15 from just three, meanwhile the far-right Vox won 11 seats.

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