Parliament in Catalonia opens with fresh calls for independence as graft scandal continues

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Carme Forcadell

The regional assembly in Catalonia opened a new session on Monday October 26 and it was for the first time with a pro independence majority.

The parliament’s new president Carme Forcadell immediately made it clear that the objective was to separate from Spain in the next 18 months.

“We represent a sovereign parliament which wants to represent a free people. We are transitioning from a regional parliament with limited powers to a national parliament with full capabilities,” said Forcadell, who is the ex-leader of secessionist movement ‘Junts pel si.’

Artur Mas is the acting regional President and the first round of elections to elect a new president will be held on November 9.

However the governing party are dealing with graft allegations which look to be Mas’ greatest challenge in his bid to stay in control.

The scandal is damaging for Mas and for the various groups who lent him support in the pro independence movement. One associate, Oriol Junqueras, said:

“Any personal contribution is obviously less important than the collective project. It’s not good for anyone, not for Catalan society in general or for any democratic society for there to be suspicions or accusations against their political representatives.”

Mas is looking to the Popular Unity Candidacy for support as the 10 seats they have would grant the independence parties a total majority in parliament. The allegations of graft however are causing divides between such a partnering.

The scandal surrounds senior Catalan officials being detained on suspicion of charging commissions for public works contracts.

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