Separatist parties won more than half the seats in this week’s elections in Catalonia in northern Spain. Among them was JxCat (Together for Catalonia) which recently selected former KU lecturer Laura Borràs as it’s presidential candidate for the regional parliament.
Having taught at the Humanities Department at Kingston University from 2010 to 2012, Laura Borràs is currently fighting for Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
Her party won 32 seats and alongside other pro-independence parties such as ERC (Catalan Republican Left) and CUP-G (Popular Unity Candidacy), they won more than half the votes (50.9%) in the election which took place on Sunday.
The election was overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic and turnout was low at 53% of voters compared to 79% in the previous election in 2017. Despite this the separatists won a majority of seats for the first time, something Borràs said “has to have consequences for both the government and the parliament”.
2017 Catalan independence referendum
Catalonia held a referendum in 2017 which resulted in a vote in favour of independence. The referendum was ruled illegal by the Spanish government and violent protests followed.
The Catalan president at the time Carles Puigdemont fled abroad but other pro-independence politicians were arrested and charged with treason.
The results of this week’s election will have brought hope to those who continue to campaign for independence. The challenge will be for the separatist parties to work together to overcome their differences in approach on the issue.
During an appearance on a popular radio programme in Catalonia, Borràs said: “Despite the pandemic, repression and the internal division on independence, we have won. We must unite against repression and disunity. The message we send internationally is that have exceeded 50%.”
The final results will be announced on April 10 once the votes have been ratified by the electoral commission.