In an internal vote, 55.7 percent of the members of the Junts party approve of leaving the regional coalition government of Catalonia.
Catalonia’s pro-independence coalition government is on the verge of collapse after its youngest member decided to leave it, in the most important crisis within the separatist movement in the Spanish region in the last decade.
In an internal vote on Friday, 55.7 percent of Junts party members approved leaving the regional coalition government amid a dispute with the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya party, which heads the administration, Junts said in a statement.
Membership participation was 79.1 percent.
Catalan President Pere Aragonés said he would not call early elections. Instead, his left-wing ERC intends to govern in the minority.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called for “stability” at a news conference in Prague, where he was attending a European Union summit.
“In these difficult and complex times, the stability of governments is essential,” he said.
“I bet on stability, in this case the Government of Catalonia.”
A Junts spokesman told Reuters before the results were announced that its leadership would abide by the binding vote.
Laura Borrás, president of Junts, said at a press conference in Barcelona that Aragonés “had lost democratic legitimacy.”
the the crisis of the separatists broke out five years after Catalonia’s chaotic bid for independence plunged Spain into its worst political crisis in decades.
Esquerra has suggested in recent days that he would not call an early election if his junior ruling partner decided to resign, but ruling alone would be a challenge given the left-wing party lacks a parliamentary majority. The coalition was formed in May 2021.
The heart of the dispute is over the pace of independence, an issue that divides moderates and hardliners.
Esquerra has favored negotiations with Madrid to agree on a binding referendum and expand the support of the Catalans to leave Spain. Some 52 percent of Catalans oppose independence and 41 percent support it, according to a June poll.
Junts, who led the wealthy northeast region when his government embraced independence in 2012, has backed a more aggressive approach, avoiding talks with Madrid and potentially repeating the events of 2017.
Catalonia then held an independence referendum despite a court ban and in the face of opposition from Madrid, and then issued a short-lived declaration of independence. Several high-profile leaders were jailed for nearly four years in connection with those events, while others went into exile themselves.
Junts announced plans for an internal vote on remaining in government last week following the firing by Catalonia’s leader of his deputy, who belongs to Junts, after the party proposed a parliamentary vote of confidence in the government.
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