Catalan Parliament Votes in Favour of Declaring Independence from Spain

Catalan Parliament Votes in Favour of Declaring Independence from Spain

Following a secret ballot, separatist lawmakers in Catalonia have passed a motion to declare independence from Spain. Opposition members boycotted the vote.

The independence motion was passed with 70 votes in favor, 10 against, and two blank ballots, the assembly's speaker announced, according to Reuters. The vote led to a celebration among thousands of independence supporters cheering in the streets in Barcelona, the region's capital.

Lawmakers from the Socialist Party, the People's Party (PP), and Ciudadanos left the chamber in protest ahead of the vote. The European Commission has declined to comment following the vote, according to Reuters.

Before the secret ballot, the Catalonian regional parliament also voted in favor of starting the “constituent process” to split from Madrid.

Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has urged for calm, stating that the rule of law will be restored in Catalonia. “I ask for calm from all Spaniards. The rule of law will restore legality in Catalonia,” Rajoy tweeted.

Earlier on Friday, Rajoy called on members of the central Spanish senate to approve direct rule over Catalonia. He said he wants to remove Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, his vice president and all regional ministers from their posts.

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