Spain's P.M.: no alternative to new Catalonia vote

Jan 05, 2016, 9:05 AM EST
Source: Joan Campderrós-i-Canas/flickr
Source: Joan Campderrós-i-Canas/flickr

The region has been unable to form a goverment due to disagreements within winning coalition. 

Reuters writes: 

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Tuesday he saw no alternative to a repeat of elections in Catalonia after the region's pro-independence bloc fractured over who to name as 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, pro-independence coalition parties.

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

The failure to form a Catalan government echoes a political stalemate gripping Spain at a national level following an inconclusive national election on Dec. 20 and increases the likelihood all Spaniards will return to the ballot box this year.

The New York Times reports:

Catalonia is likely to convene new regional elections after a far-left party there voted Sunday against allowing Artur Mas to continue as leader of the region and its secessionist movement.

The vote Sunday by members of the political committee of the Popular Unity Candidacy party left Catalan politics in a government deadlock similar to one that Spain as a whole could soon face. In inconclusive national elections on Dec. 20, the governing party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy got the most votes, but lost its parliamentary majority.

In Catalonia, Mr. Mas had been trying for three months to persuade the Popular Unity Candidacy party to let him stay in office. A coalition of separatist parties won regional elections in September, but lacked enough seats to form a new government without the support of the Popular Unity Candidacy party, known by its Catalan acronym, CUP.