Catalonia: The separatists lose their majority to the socialists of Pedro Sánchez

Catalonia: The separatists lose their majority to the socialists of Pedro Sánchez
Catalonia: The separatists lose their majority to the socialists of Pedro Sánchez

Salvador Illa, the leader of the socialist party in Catalonia greets his supporters.

The independence parties, which have ruled Catalonia for a decade, lost their majority on Sunday May 12, 2024 during a regional election marked by a breakthrough by the socialists of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in this region, the scene of an attempted secession in 2017 .
After the counting of more than 98% of the ballots, the three separatist groups including Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) of Carles Puigdemont and ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) of the current regional president Pere Aragonès, obtained 59 seats.
The majority is set at 68 seats in a parliament with 135. During the last regional election in February 2021, these three parties obtained 74.
Pedro Sánchez’s Socialists won 42 seats, nine more than in 2021, and succeeded in showing that separatist sentiment had stalled in Catalonia, more than six years after the secession attempt of October 2017, one of the worst crises experienced by contemporary Spain.
But their candidate Salvador Illa, former Minister of Health during the Covid 19 pandemic, will have to find partners to articulate a majority. In 2021, he had already won the regional elections but was unable to be installed as regional president, in a predominantly pro-independence parliament.
The hypothesis most cited by analysts is an alliance with the far left, which governs in Spain with Mr. Sánchez, and with ERC, the most moderate party among the separatists, which lost a lot of ground during this election . Between them, these parties would barely have an absolute majority of 68 seats.
Pedro Sánchez had made this election a central issue of his mandate in order to prove that the policy of détente he has pursued in Catalonia since coming to power in 2018 has borne fruit and led to a reduction in separatist sentiment in this region of eight million inhabitants which is one of the economic and industrial engines of the country.

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