Econintersect: More than 64% of the seats in the Catalan parliament have been won by members of separatist parties in the Catalonia state election Sunday (25 November 2012). But the movement to secede may actually have been weakened. The ruling party, Convergència i Uni, lost twelve seats and now hold only 37% of the seats (50). They had previously held more than 45% of the seats. The party’s leader and Catalan President, Artur Mas, has been a leading figure calling for a referendum for independence.
Two of the three parties that have strongly opposed the separatist movement gained strength in the election. Spain’s national ruling party, Popular Party gained one seat to 19, Ciutidans added six seats and now hold 9, while the Socialist Party, also anti-secessionist, lost 8 seats and now hold 20.
When all the numbers are totaled, the Catalon parliament has seats held by separatists increase in number by one, which would seem like a victory. But the leadership of the separatist movement has been more widely distributed. There are now four parties in place of three, and the minority parties have gained at the expense of the governing party.
This complicated situation has The Financial Times calling this election a “step towards break-up vote” while Reuters said that the “Catalan election weakens bid for independence from Spain.”
- Catalan election weakens bid for independence from Spain (Fiona Ortiz and Braden Phillips, Reuters, 26 November 2012)
- Catalans take step towards break-up vote (Miles Johnson and Julius Purcell, Financial Times, 25 November 2012)