Deposed President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont has declared a victory of democracy following the local parliamentary elections in the region.
“I want to congratulate the Catalan people, because they have sent a message to the world. The Catalan republic has beaten the monarchy and article 155. The Spanish state has been beaten. Mr Rajoy and his allies have lost,” Puigdemont said from the Belgian city of Brussels where he is hiding from Spanish security forces.
In the election, Catalan pro-independence parties secured 70 parliamentary seats collectively and got an absolute majority in the 135-seat regional parliament.
The Spanish government ordered the snap elections for December 21 to decide a new regional parliament.
This move was caused by the unilateral declaration of independence by the Catalan government late in October. In turn, the central government suspended the region’s autonomy and sacked its government. The crisis was caused by the October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia, which Madrid declared illegal and void.