Independence sentiment grew during Spain’s near economic meltdown during the financial crisis.
A massive 77.5% of voters turned out for the election, with the “Together for Yes” alliance – which includes a number of pro-independence parties – topping the poll.
Earlier, the pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy party known as CUP had insisted that it would only join an independence bid if secessionist parties won more than 50 percent of the popular vote.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, was “informed” of the result but had not had any immediate contacts with the government in Madrid and regional government in Catalonia, Schinas said.
“We want to make sure we are all heading in the same direction since we have the majority to do so”, Mas said.
Mas told a crowd of tens of thousands of supporters as he was wrapping up his election campaign on Friday that the vote would “lead to freedom”.
“The negotiations in the coming days are crucial for the future of the secessionist movement”, said Antonio Barroso, a London-based analyst with the Teneo Intelligence political risk consultancy.
“The sovereign process does not have the backing of society”, said Rajoy from Moncloa Palace, Madrid. Despite their success, the pro-independence parties received 47.9 percent of the total vote. CUP has stated that it would not wish to move towards independence without a majority of the votes as well.
The ruling Convergencia Party of Catalan leader Artur Mas and Esquerra Republicana have created a single list of candidates – under the banner “Together for Yes”.
“Today we know that what was not possible legally did not obtain support in the ballot box”. Though they fell short of a popular majority, they claimed 72 out of 135 seats in the regional assembly, giving them control of the legislature.
Catalonia has 7.5m people and provides about one-fifth of Spain’s GDP.
Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy says he is ready to listen to Catalonia’s new regional government after the separatist victory in Sunday’s polls – but will not discuss Spain’s unity.
The Spanish government has repeatedly said it will not allow secession to happen, because it’s a violation of the country’s constitution that Spanish high courts would strike down.
A coalition of separatists who promised independence for the Spanish region of Catalonia emerged as victors in parliamentary elections Sunday, preliminary results showed.
In terms of GDP, theirs is the richest region in Spain.
“I have wanted independence ever since I was young”, Perez said after voting in Barcelona. A referendum vote in 2014 showed overwhelming support, but turnout was low considering the results had already been ruled non-binding.