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Catalan Republic has beaten monarchy: Puigdemont claims victory as unionists blame unfair law

Catalan Republic has beaten monarchy: Puigdemont claims victory as unionists blame unfair law

Deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has hailed a victory of democracy, while the leader of pro-unionist Citizens Party has blamed "unfair laws for their inability to form a majority.

"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 Brussels where he is hiding from Spanish authorities.

Puigdemont praised the victory of democracy after a trio of pro-independence parties Together for Catalonia (JxCat), Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) secured 70 parliamentary seats collectively, with 68 required for an absolute majority in the 135-seat assembly.
While the pro-union Citizens Party actually won the election, it did so only by a small margin in terms of vote and share of seats, and is unlikely to form a ruling coalition. Its leader, Ines Arrimadas, lamented that an"unfairelectoral law had given"more seats to those who have fewer votes in the street.

Pro-independence parties, she claimed,"can no longer speak on behalf of everyonebecause voters are clearly"in favor of union with Spainand"for the first time, a unionist party has the elections in Catalonia.

"The Rajoy recipe does not work. Europe must take note,Puigdemont said after the preliminary results of Catalonia's snap election were announced. He also called on Madrid to release all political prisoners."Now we need to restore democracy, restore our legitimate government, our freedoms. We need to free all those people who are still in prison, but should not be."

"We have maintained the legitimacy and continuity of an institution that was born in 1359. With this legitimacy, we have given news to the world: the Catalan Republic has won. Let them understand it well! Let them take note!

Spains central government ordered the snap vote for December 21 to decide a new regional parliament after the falloutfrom the October 1 independence referendum, which Madrid declared illegal and void. Following the unilateral declaration of independence by the Catalan government late in October, Madrid responded by suspending the regions autonomy and sacking its government.

Several pro-independence politicians were jailed, while Puigdemont managed to flee to Brussels but said he would return to Catalonia if he wins. Puigdemont ispresentlyin Belgium as Madrid still has an active warrant out for his arrest. He faces charges of sedition, inciting a rebellion, and embezzlement of public funds over his role in the Catalan independence movement.

Protests swept through Spain ahead and after the vote on Catalonias independence. Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets, with both pro and anti-independence protesters rallying consistently across the country.

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