Speed Reads


Secessionist parties in Catalonia declare victory in snap election

The Spanish government called an early election in the Catalonia region in an attempt to stop the Catalan separatist movement, but with 97 percent of Thursday's votes counted, pro-independence parties have won a majority of the regional parliament's 135 seats.

The previous Catalan administration held an illegal referendum to secede from Spain, and the former regional president, Carlos Puigdemont of Junts Per Catalunya, is in self-imposed exile in Brussels; if he returns, it's likely he will be arrested and face charges of sedition and rebellion. No single party has a majority, but three separatist parties took 70 seats and could agree to govern as a coalition. Secession is a very divisive issue in the region; the anti-independence Ciutadans Party won 36 seats, the most for one party in the snap election.