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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