Catalonia declares independence
Parlament approves resolution to launch constituent process of new republic · Spanish government says it sacks Catalan government, calls "regional" election
Out of 135 MPs in the Catalan Parliament, 70 have supported the declaration of the Catalan Republic, while 10 have voted against and 2 blank votes have been registered. The remaining 53 MPs (belonging to unionist parties Citizens' Party, Socialist Party and Popular Party) have left the chamber before voting started.
Shortly after the proclamation, the Catalan government has defined "the Catalan Republic" as an "independent, sovereign, social state under the rule of law":
The Parliament of Catalonia constitutes the Catalan Republic, as an independent, sovereign, democratic, social State under the rule of law pic.twitter.com/RW5xck7PYN— Catalan Government (@catalangov) 27 d’octubre de 2017
As the Catalan Parliament was voting, the Spanish Senate was also considering to pass an authorization to the Spanish government to suspend Catalonia's self-government, relying on article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. Few minutes after Catalonia declared independence, the Senate voted in favour of suspending Catalan institutions.
After both events unfolded, president of the European Council Donald Tusk, called on Spain not to retort to the use of force:
For EU nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor. I hope the Spanish government favours force of argument, not argument of force.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) 27 d’octubre de 2017
Spanish president Mariano Rajoy (PP) has said the proclamation of the Catalan Republic is a "criminal act", and has vowed to "restore legality" in Catalonia through the enforcement of article 155.
Rajoy has this evening explained the first measures taken by his government, after a meeting this afternoon. The Spanish leader has ordered the dismissal of the whole Catalan government, has closed down Catalan foreign delegations, Catalonia's public diplomacy council and other self-government bodies, has ordered the dissolution of the Catalan Parliament, and has called "regional" elections for December 21.
The measures taken by the Spanish authorities are illegal, according to the law of the newly established Catalan Republic.
Spanish opposition leader Pedro Sánchez (PSOE) has supported Rajoy's stance, and has deemed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and vice-president Oriol Junqueras responsible for "fracturing" and "tearing" Catalan society:
Independence supporters cheer in streets
#Ahorademocracia. Puigdemont y Junqueras, principales responsables de la fractura y el desgarro de la sociedad catalana. Todo para nada. pic.twitter.com/KvnMkgOwmU— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) 27 d’octubre de 2017
Immediately after the vote count ended, thousands of independence supporters started to chant and cheer in the streets of Barcelona, welcoming the proclamation of the Catalan Republic.
In Barcelona's central square Plaça de Sant Jaume, pro-independence grassroots group Catalan National Assembly (ANC) is having a music party to welcome the birth of the Catalan Republic:
Catalan Parliament president announces results of vote on independence. This is how pro-indy supporters reacted ➡️https://t.co/nywA0lGZB0. pic.twitter.com/efwRtxA8yA— Catalan News (@catalannews) 27 d’octubre de 2017
ANC president Jordi Sànchez and pro-independence group Òmnium leader Jordi Cuixart are imprisoned since 16 October in Soto del Real (Madrid, Spain) by order of Spain's exceptional high court, the Audiencia Nacional, under charges of sedition.
Comença la festa de proclamació de la República Catalana. Sant Jaume plena. Ens hi quedarem el temps que calgui!#HolaRepúblicaCatalanapic.twitter.com/8ZnGdi0PHn— Assemblea Nacional (@assemblea) 27 d’octubre de 2017