SEPARATISTS in Catalonia have been unable to decide whether to back the regional government of outgoing president Artur Mas, leading to the possibility of fresh elections in January.
The Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP) – a small, radical left-wing party – couldn’t come to an agreement as to whether they would support the move which would see Mas return to power to lead a pro-independence separatist bloc in the Generalitat.
Mas leads the Junts pel Si (Together for Yes) party, which, together with the CUP, won enough seats to form a government in September’s elections – the first time a separatist majority has been possible in the wealthy region, home to 7.5 million people.
The CUP, however, has been hesitant to support Mas due to his perceived support for austerity policies and their own total opposition to EU and NATO membership.
Over the weekend of December 27, grassroots members of the CUP voted on whether to support Mas, with the rather spectacular result of 1,515 voted for, and 1,515 voting against.
It will now be down to the party leadership to decide whether to put independence ahead of political philosophy and consent to a coalition with Junts pel Si, or risk another election to clarify the results.
The law demands that if a government is not formed by January 9, fresh elections must be held. If this comes to pass it would be the fourth regional elections in Catalonia since 2010.