Catalan President Backs Off Calling Snap Elections

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Catalan President Backs Off Calling Snap Elections

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Events are fast-moving in Catalonia. A same day article suggested President Puigdemont would announce snap elections today, dissolving parliament ahead of them, hoping to preempt imposition of direct Madrid rule over the region on Friday.

His intent caused a firestorm among Catalan pro-independence parliamentarians, forcing him to back off.

In a statement to reporters, he said he decided against calling snap elections, explaining his “duty was to try.”

“My responsibility was to explore all of the options in my hand to the very end.”

“No one will be able to say that I have not been ready to make sacrifices to guarantee dialogue. It is now the Catalan Parliament that will have to decide on the response to the application of Article 155.”

A large crowd filled the square outside his headquarters, waiting to hear what he’d say – chanting “independence” after he announced his decision, calling Madrid tactics heavy-handed.

Ahead of him calling off snap elections, pro-independence MPs denounced him. Supporters outside his Barcelona headquarters called him a coward and traitor.

One former ally called him a Judas on Twitter. Party members threatened to defect. Vice President Oriol Junqueras threatened to resign.

El Diario broadsheet editor Ignacio Escolar said “(n)either side wants to go through to the most extreme scenario. Otherwise they already would have done it. I think we are in the last minutes of a negotiation that has time all the way up through the end of senate’s session” Thursday evening or overnight into Friday.

Parliamentarians began meeting at 6:00PM local time. Debate could take hours. Catalans eagerly await hearing what they decide.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.