Catalonia: independence, campaign for Sept. 27 vote starts

Thousands separatists celebrate in Barcelona

11 September, 14:22

    Pro-independence party 'Junts pel Si' candidates Artur Mas (L) and Oriol Junqueras (R) during the Catalonia election campaign opening meeting in Barcelona, Spain Pro-independence party 'Junts pel Si' candidates Artur Mas (L) and Oriol Junqueras (R) during the Catalonia election campaign opening meeting in Barcelona, Spain

    MADRID - The electoral campaign for crucial regional elections in Catalonia, scheduled on September 27, officially opened on Friday. Separatists led by Catalonia's outgoing president Artur Mas mean to transform it into a vote on independence. The start of the campaign coincides with Diada, the Catalan national holiday during which this afternoon hundreds of thousands of separatists are expected in Barcelona for the ''Via Liuvre a la Republica Catalana'' (the green light to the Catalan Republic).

    The latest surveys indicate that separatists could win the absolute majority of seats in the new parliament of Barcelona, while remaining under the absolute majority of votes. Mas has announced that if they win, the ''disconnection'' with Spain will start with the objective of declaring a secession within 18 months.

    The Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy believes that the independence of a region is banned by the Spanish Constitution that came into effect after the end of the Franco regime and has announced he will oppose Catalonia's independence.

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