- Snap election triggered by Mas fallout
- Scheduled for March
- Turmoil echoes disagreement in Madrid
A snap election has been triggered in Catalonia after the far-left CUP said it would not back Artur Mas for another term as regional president.
Parties favouring a split between Spain and Catalonia won a majority of seats in a regional election in September.
However, divisions between the groups undermined their prospects of pushing forward with an independence drive.
Pro-independence parties struck a tentative deal before Christmas to form a government.
But the agreement faltered when the Catalan anti-capitalist party CUP, the minority partner in the pro-independence coalition, failed to reach a decision on its partner’s candidate to lead the regional government, Artur Mas, who has been in power there since 2010.
CUP, a fringe anti-capitalist party which rejects Catalan membership of NATO and the European Union, has held the key to the formation of the regional government since elections in September.
Pro-independence parties won a majority of seats but CUP has repeatedly rejected the candidature of Mas, who heads a centre-right, pro-business party.
Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) clinched 62 seats out of 135 in the Catalan Parliament in last September’s elections.
The party, run by Artur Mas, needed at least two of the 10 seats held by the CUP to be handed power.
New elections should now be organised.
The drawn-out process of forming a government in Catalonia echoes the political stalemate gripping Spain at national level, following general elections two weeks ago in which no party was handed a clear mandate to govern.