Spanish PM sees no alternative to new elections in Catalonia

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says he sees no alternative to repeat elections in Catalonia after pro-independence Catalan party fractured over choosing new government leader

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced on Tuesday that he saw no alternative to a repeat of elections in Catalonia following the region's pro-independence party was in disagreement over naming the new government's leader.

Catalonia, worth a fifth of Spain's economic output, has been unable to form a government since a regional election in September due to disagreements between the winning and pro-independence coalition parties.

If a new candidate is not chosen before Saturday, new regional elections will be called automatically.

Rajoy indicated that he had no thought to waive as the prime minister candidate after the inconclusive Dec. 20 national election.

The People's Party, under Mariano Rajoy, and its traditional political rivals, the Socialists, have more similarities in their policies rather than differences said Rajoy and added there were also no red lines over agreements with them or liberal Ciudadanos (Citizens).

The Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) which is a far-left pro-Catalan independence political party is very effective in the Catalan region.

The CUP, which opposes NATO and EU membership for Catalonia, has repeatedly refused to support Catalan President Artur Mas’ party, Democratic Convergence of Catalonia.

Mas supporters could only reach 1,515 votes, exactly the same number as the members who refuse to support him because of his austerity policies.

Austerity policies as well as corruption scandals that have been linked to Mas’ party, which has 62 seats in the parliament, have caused a loss of support from smaller CUP groupings.

Support of two more CUP lawmakers would be enough for the formation of a Mas-led government.

If the Catalan parliament could not form a new government before the January 9 deadline then it must call for fresh elections, which would be the fourth time since 2010.

TRTWorld and agencies