Spain suspends Catalan Parliament before it can declare independence

Catalan leaders have pledged to honour the result of the referendum

The Catalan referendum was marred by violence

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Spanish Government has blocked a planned session of the Catalan Parliament on Monday (October 9), during which separatist leaders have been tipped to declare independence.

The extraordinary session of the regional Parliament was announced yesterday, in light of Sunday's independence referendum which returned an overwhelming majority in favour of secession.

Catalan leaders have not confirmed that they will formally declare independence at Monday's meeting, but regional President Carles Puigdemont has said he wants the declaration to be made either over the weekend or early next week.

However Spain's Constitutional Tribunal has said it will not allow the session to convene, adding that any "act, resolution, agreement or conduct" that contravenes this ban will be rendered null and void.

The tribunal also reminded Carmen Forcadell, president of the Catalan Parliament, of "her duty to impede or stop any initiative that aims to ignore or evade the agreed suspension, warning them of the eventual consequences, including the criminal."

Catalan authorities say the region's unofficial referendum returned a majority of 90% in favour of independence, although this has not been independently verified.

The referendum, which was not sanctioned by Spain, resulted in widespread violence across Catalonia, with voters clashing with Guardia Civil police officers who had been deployed to prevent the vote taking place. 

Catalan leaders claim around 800,000 people were prevented from voting due to the Guardia Civil's tactics.