Catalonia digests election that saw separatists win majority

Catalan election latest: Carles Puigdemont says de facto independence vote is a chance for region to 'return to normality'

Unless their status changes, they will have to renounce their seats and pass them on to other party members or else the pro-independence bloc could be down a crucial share of votes.

But pro-independence parties - Puigdemont's Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia), left-republican ERC and the anti-capitalist CUP - won 70 seats in total, two above a majority but two less than in the previous parliament.

The leader of one separatist party, Oriol Junqueras, was in solitary confinement in a Spanish prison when he was re-elected.

"Catalonia wants to be an independent state " said Puigdemont speaking in Belgium on Friday.

Rajoy and his conservative Cabinet tried to nip the independence movement in the bud, sacking the regional government and dissolving its parliament.

"Forget about the judges and try to do the best for Catalonia and Spain".

Polls suggest neither the pro-independence nor the pro-unity camp will win a majority.

Citizens party leader Arrimadas told the BBC that her party had been "victorious".

Asked if he was concerned about being named in an investigation, the City manager said: "We will see what happens".

As she put it: "I am so happy that we have shown to the rest of Europe and the rest of the world that not everyone in Catalonia is against Spain. there are a lot of people here who want to be part of Spain".

And here is a further layer of complexity, in case this didn't seem complicated enough.

He then called the vote in the hopes of returning Catalonia to "normality" under a unionist government, or failing that a separatist government acting within the Spanish and regional laws and not seeking a unilateral split. Separatist regional lawmakers made a unilateral declaration of independence October 27, prompting Spain's national government to take the dramatic step of firing the regional government and dissolving the Catalan parliament.

That gamble has failed and now he has to decide how to deal with jailed or exiled leaders who have demonstrated again that they have a popular mandate.

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