Catalonian separatists begin negotiations to form coalition government

Catalonian separatists begin negotiations to form coalition government

Following snap elections late last year, Catalonia’s political parties are expected to kick-off negotiations to form a new government today. With 70 seats required to form a majority, it is likely that separatist parties Together for Catalonia, Republican Left and Popular Unity Candidacy (34, 32 and 4 seats respectively) will again unite to lead the

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Photo: AP/Emilio Morenatti

Following snap elections late last year, Catalonia’s political parties are expected to kick-off negotiations to form a new government today.

With 70 seats required to form a majority, it is likely that separatist parties Together for Catalonia, Republican Left and Popular Unity Candidacy (34, 32 and 4 seats respectively) will again unite to lead the regional government.

A major stumbling block to the talks is the absence of key figures—Together for Catalonia’s leader and former president Carles Puigdemont remains exiled in Belgium, while Republican Left’s leader Oriol Junqueras is in jail following his role in last year’s referendum. With anti-independence parties lacking the numbers to form a majority coalition, Catalonia may struggle to meet its February 8 deadline to form a new government, unless Madrid drops criminal charges against the likely president and vice-president.

After Puigdemont and Junqueras’ parties both rejected another attempt at unilateral independence and expressed a desire to open dialogue with the national government, Madrid might find the leaders’ potential return to Catalonia easier to stomach.

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