Catalan regional government president Carles Puigdemont (C) gives a speech at the Catalan regional parliament in Barcelona on October 10, 2017. Photo: AFP / Lluis Gene
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The president of the regional government of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont has asked the parliament to suspend the outcome of the independence referendum held on October 1, despite saying the majority of people voted to leave Spain.
He said on Tuesday evening that they have received many calls for mediation and dialogue from leaders and bodies in Europe and across the world and they are going to respect that by suspending the results.
Puigdemont said the people voted overwhelmingly in support of separation from Spain and his government has obtained a “mandate” from the Catalan people to seek an independent state.
“We propose to suspend the effect of the independence declaration... in order to work towards putting into practice the result of the referendum... Today, we are making a gesture of responsibility in favour of dialogue,” he said, according to the Guardian.
Catalonia held its referendum despite the opposition of the Spanish government and a ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court that the vote was unconstitutional. The Catalan government had said before the referendum that they would declare independence within 48 hours of knowing the result of the vote.
Madrid did not rule out triggering Article 155 of the constitution that allows for the federal government to dissolve the regional government and take over the civil administration. The constitutional article has never been used before.
Puigdemont also took the opportunity to condemn police violence that saw many injured on the day of the vote.