22 October 2016
The will of the Catalan parliament cannot be annulled, Artur Mas says. Photo: AFP
The will of the Catalan parliament cannot be annulled, Artur Mas says. Photo: AFP

Catalonia says court ruling won’t stop drive for independence

Catalonia will not let a Spanish court’s ruling derail its fight for independence, the acting head of the region’s government said.

On Wednesday, Spain’s Constitutional Court annulled a Catalan assembly resolution calling for a republic to be established within 18 months.

The court was ruling on an appeal by the Spanish government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has said Catalonian independence is “nonsense” and will never happen, Reuters reported.

But Acting Catalan President Artur Mas, who ran the Catalan government during years of national economic crisis in which the independence movement swelled, said the government of the wealthy northeastern region would stick to its plan.

“Legally, it is clear that the Catalan parliament’s resolution is now annulled,” he said in an interview Thursday with Cadena Ser radio.

“But politically, it is not, because the will of the parliament cannot be annulled, and the will of the parliament reflects the will and the ideas of a significant part of the Catalonian population.”

The Constitutional Court ruled that the resolution was unconstitutional and said the Catalan assembly could not establish itself as an independent legal and political power above the constitution.

Mas said he wanted to hold another referendum on secession.

An informal vote last year produced a result of 81 percent in favor, although the turnout was only around 40 percent.

Parties favoring a split from Spain won a majority of seats in the Catalan parliament in September although they fell just short of winning half the vote.

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