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Catalonia. Parliament elections. Separatist groups lose their majority

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Groups demanding Catalonia's secession from Spain lost their majority in the Catalan parliament in Sunday's regional elections, according to data collected from 99.5 percent of polling stations. The new prime minister will probably be former Spanish health minister Salvador Illa.

The Party of Socialists of Catalonia (PSC) won Sunday's elections in Catalonia, winning 42 seats in the 135-seat parliament. Previously, the party federated with the Spanish Socialists (PSOE) led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had 33 MPs.

The likely prime minister of Catalonia will be PSC chairman Salvador Illa, who strengthened his position in politics as Spain's health minister during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Catalonia has chosen its new path today,” Illa said in his evening speech, referring to the period of the last 14 years during which the regional parliament was dominated by deputies from pro-secession groups.

The Socialist Party of Catalonia wins the elections PAP/EPA/Quique Garcia

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The difficult mission of forming a government

In second place was the separatist party Together for Catalonia (Junts) led by Carles Puigdemont, which increased its holdings by three seats with 35 seats in the chamber.

The biggest loser of the elections is the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), which has so far been in power in the region under the cabinet led by Pere Aragones. The separatist group that won the regional elections in 2021 took third place this time, securing only 20 seats, i.e. 13 fewer than before.

Spanish political scientists agree that the results of Sunday's elections, in which nearly 58 percent took part. entitled to vote, do not make it easier for the PSC to form a new government of Catalonia. According to TVE commentators, the most possible scenario is the formation of a coalition of center-left parties. In addition to the Catalan Socialists and ERC, it would include the Comuns Sumar electoral bloc, which secured six seats on Sunday.

It is unlikely that a cabinet of separatist groups will be formed. Even if the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), which has 4 members, joined the Junts and ERC, supporters of Catalonia's secession would not be able to count on an advantage in parliament.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Quique Garcia

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