Spanish Government And Socialist Party Call For Elections In Catalonia In January


Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the Spanish parliament (Luis Javier Modino Martínez / Wikimedia Commons)

The Spanish government and the leadership of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español, PSOE) announced today that a snap election will be held in Catalonia in January.

The decision reached by the administration of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative People’s Party (PP) and PSOE is part of their agreement to invoke Article 155 of the Constitution, said this morning at a press conference Carmen Calvo, a member of PSOE tasked with conducting talks between her party and the government.

Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution stipulates that if “an autonomous community does not fulfill the obligations that the Constitution or other laws prescribe” the Spanish central government can “adopt all necessary measures required to compel it to the forcible fulfillment of said obligations or to the protection of the aforementioned general interest.”

Catalonia‘s pro-independence administration defied the Constitution when it held an independence referendum on October 1st, which the Spanish supreme court had ruled illegal.

On October 11 Spain’s Prime Minister had consulted with the leaders of PSOE and Ciudadanos (Citizens), the two largest pro-unionism parties in the Catalan parliament, and they had agreed to invoke Article 155 if the Catalan authorities did not unequivocally respond to Rajoy’s ultimatum to clarify their stance on independence.

According to El Pais, on Saturday the Spanish Prime Minister will hold an emergency meeting with his cabinet to discuss the implementation of Article 155 and the functions that he intends to take over from the local government, including finances, security and some of the executive powers of the Catalan president.

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