Artur Mas steps down to ensure that a pro-independence government can be formed

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Convergencia Democratica de Cataluny
Carles Puigdemont and Santi Vila

DESPITE previous brave words and insults about the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), former first minister of Catalonia Artur Mas in a fairly sour and pointed speech on January 9 has announced that he will withdraw his attempt to be re-appointed as first minister in order to ensure that there will be a pro-independence government and no need to call a new election.

The new first minister according to Mr Mas would be Carles Puigdemont, a former journalist and currently the Mayor of Gerona, the chairman of the Association of Pro-Independence Municipalities (AMI) and a Junts Pel Sí MP in the regional parliament.

Following Mr. Mas’s announcement Mr Puigdemont tweeted that “We have a solid, well oriented ongoing project. We are all called, we are all needed. Thank you, first minister, for leading and persevering”.

Mr Mas has indicated that he blames the CUP for his resignation and that whilst they would live to regret their refusal to support him, he would have nothing to do with the government of Catalonia at this stage although there are suggestions that he may now resurrect his previous political party.

There will be a special meeting of the Catalan parliament on January 10 when Mr Puigdemont will be formally proposed as the new first minister and with CUP support will be accepted.

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