May 18, 2024

Westside People

Complete News World

Catalans vote in regional elections to measure the strength of the separatist movement

Catalans vote in regional elections to measure the strength of the separatist movement

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Polls closed for elections in Spain’s wealthy northeastern Catalonia region on Sunday, with more than 5.7 million voters eligible to vote in a contest that will have reverberations throughout Spanish politics.

The vote will measure the strength of Catalan separatists and the success of the prime minister’s policies Pedro Sanchez.

More than 50 countries will go to the polls in 2024

Thousands of voters are likely to have difficulty reaching polling stations after Catalonia’s commuter rail service was forced to close several train lines after what officials said was the theft of copper cables from a train facility near Barcelona.

The turnout rate at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) reached 45%, which is approximately the same percentage in the last elections held in 2021 when health restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic were still in place.

Separatists have controlled the regional government in Barcelona for more than ten years. But opinion polls and the national elections in July show that support for secession has diminished somewhat since the former regional president. Carles Puigdemont He led an illegal – and futile – operation. Attempt to break up In 2017.

Puigdemont is on the run from Spanish laws since he fled the country days after his failed secession attempt. But this does not prevent him from running in the elections, as he is campaigning from the south of France. He said he will return to Spain when newly elected lawmakers meet to choose a regional president sometime after the election.

By then, Puigdemont hopes to be cleared of any legal problems after the Spanish Parliament gives its final approval to the agreement. Controversial pardon Him and hundreds of other separatists.

See also  Britain's new chancellor has scrapped nearly all planned tax cuts in a bid to appease markets

The pardon forms part of Sanchez’s intensified campaign to reduce tensions in Catalonia, which has also included pardoning prominent jailed separatists. If voters do not confirm this by supporting his Socialist Party, it will be a blow to the leader who heads the minority coalition in Madrid.

Sanchez campaigned alongside Salvador Illa, the Socialists’ candidate. Illa won the most votes in the 2021 regional elections, but was unable to prevent separatist Pere Aragones from forming the government.

The elections will witness a Battle inside the separatist camp Between the conservative “Together” party led by Puigdemont and the Republican Left Party of Catalonia led by Aragonés.

A far-right, pro-secessionist party called the Catalan Alliance, which opposes unauthorized immigration as well as the Spanish state, hopes to gain parliamentary representation.

A total of nine parties are competing, and no party is expected to come close to winning enough votes to reach an absolute majority of 68 seats in the council. So deal making will be crucial.

a Drought recordIndependence is not currently the main concern of Catalans, according to the latest poll by Catalonia’s Public Opinion Office. About 70% of likely voters say the GSA and the economy Climate changeThey will make their choice at the ballot box, while 30% say the issue of independence remains their top priority.

The Opinion Bureau said 50% of Catalans opposed independence while 42% supported it, meaning support for it had fallen to 2012 levels. When Puigdemont left in 2017, 49% supported independence and 43% opposed it.