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Snap election on the cards in Catalonia

Snap election on the cards in Catalonia
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By Euronews with Reuters, AFP, APTN, AP, EFE
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Split among factions threatens to undermine campaign for independence from Madrid as parties clash over choice of leader.

  • CUP will not support Mas
  • Snap election likely to be in March
  • Echoes the scene playing out in Madrid
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Recently-elected politicians in Catalonia have six days to save their coalition.

The Catalan far-left party CUP has said it will not support acting regional head Artur Mas for another term as leader.

https://t.co/vYmnRnSThG : “Leftists force new Catalonia election” https://t.co/ROt4qT6PJc

— Akhil Sharmaa (@iamakhilsharmaa) January 3, 2016

The announcement triggers a fresh round of local elections and will weaken the independence movement seeking a split from Spain.

#Catalonia's CUP decides to abstain in the investiture vote of #ArturMas (vote likely not going to take place) https://t.co/TJczDO5LyU

— Janne Riitakorpi (@JanneRiitakorpi) January 3, 2016

CUP is a fringe, anti-capitalist party which rejects Catalan membership of NATO and the EU.

It has held the balance of power in talks to form a regional government since elections last September awarded a majority to pro-independence parties.

Antonio Baños se plantea dimitir tras el rechazo de la CUP a investir a Artur Mas https://t.co/qIiG5hri7hpic.twitter.com/B0zGclKKSa

— 20minutos.es (@20m) January 3, 2016

However, CUP has repeatedly rejected the candidature of Mas, who heads the centre-right, business-friendly party Junts pel Sí.

The political future of Catalan president Artur Mas is hanging by a thread https://t.co/QkUgxYba2lpic.twitter.com/VmQQO7rPV4

— Financial Times (@FT) December 28, 2015

Mas heads the separatist “Together for Yes” alliance that won 62 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament last September. It needed a further ten to secure a workable majority.

#ÚLTIMAHORA: Baños se plantea dimitir tras el rechazo de la #CUP a investir a Mas https://t.co/P16n0dNAxj

— La Vanguardia (@LaVanguardia) January 3, 2016

After three months of debates, CUP members finally decided on Sunday afternoon not to support Mas as coalition leader.

Sergi Saladié: “Mas va dir que no seria obstacle, té una setmana per demostrar-ho!” #PerLaRepúblicapic.twitter.com/2y8CIx11gD

— CUP Sant Martí (@CUPSantMarti) January 3, 2016

Speaking after the meeting, a party spokesman said CUP might reconsider its position if another candidate were to be nominated.

However, the Together for Yes alliance says Mas is a non-negotiable figure.

Local mirrors national

The drawn-out process of forming a government in Catalonia echoes the political stalemate gripping Spain at national level.

No party in Madrid was handed a clear mandate to lead at general elections two weeks ago.

#oldham#stockport Spanish don't want election re-run – poll: MADRID (Reuters) – Less than … https://t.co/KrrBVr5kmD#tameside#salford

— No Labour In Politix (@Labour_is_PIE) December 24, 2015

The prospect of another poll in March plunges Spain into more uncertainty.

The make-up of both the regional and national governments set to negotiate the future of the wealthy northeastern region remain unclear.

At the national level, parties are in talks to form a coalition government in Madrid.

Spanish voters, disillusioned by recession and high-level corruption cases, turned away from establishment political parties and voted for newcomers.

Spain PM Mariano Rajoy pushing to form coalition government after divided vote – AP</a> <a href="https://t.co/fUW3vbgSsY">https://t.co/fUW3vbgSsY</a></p>&mdash; Breaking Politics (breakingpol) December 29, 2015

The future of Catalonia is at the centre of these talks.

Disagreement over whether to allow the region a referendum on independence is a major sticking point.

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Newcomer Podemos supports a vote while the Socialists do not.

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