Spanish Govt May Dissolve Catalan Parl, Call for Polls in 6 Months
Anti-Catalan independence demonstrators carry a Spanish flag as they march in Barcelona, Spain on Tuesday 3 October 2017. 
Anti-Catalan independence demonstrators carry a Spanish flag as they march in Barcelona, Spain on Tuesday 3 October 2017. (Photo: AP)

Spanish Govt May Dissolve Catalan Parl, Call for Polls in 6 Months

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Saturday, 21 October, said he would curb the powers of the parliament of Catalonia, sack its government and call an election within six months in a bid to thwart a drive by the autonomous region to breakaway from Spain.

Rajoy said his government had taken this unprecedented decision to restore the law, make sure regional institutions were neutral, and to guarantee public services and economic activity as well as preserve the civil rights of all citizens.

The measures must now be approved by Spain's upper house, the Senate, where a vote is scheduled for 27 October.

The Spanish government has secured opposition support for dissolving Catalonia's parliament.

It will be the first time in Spain’s four decades of democracy that Madrid has invoked the constitution to effectively sack a regional government and call new elections.

Head of state King Felipe used a ceremony in the northwestern region of Asturias to indicate support for the government and affirm the unity of Spain, of which he said "Catalonia is and will remain an essential part."

"Spain needs to face up to an unacceptable secession attempt on its national territory, which it will resolve through its legitimate democratic institutions," said the monarch, a ceremonial figure who sharply criticised Catalan leaders earlier this month.

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