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Catalonia nationalists victorious in elections

Sep 27, 2015, 7:09 PM EDT
Catalan Pro-independence flag shown on the street.
AFP/Getty Images

Pro-independence parties in Spain's Catalonia region have won an absolute majority in regional elections, near complete results show, reports the BBC.

With more than 90% of the votes counted, the main separatist alliance and a smaller party won 72 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament.

They said earlier a majority would allow them to declare independence from Spain unilaterally within 18 months.

The central government in Madrid has pledged to block such moves in court.

With nearly 94% of the votes counted, the "Junts per Si" ("Together for Yes") won 62 seats, while the far-left separatist CUP party is expected to secure 10 mandates.

"We have won," Catalan regional President Artus Mas told his cheering supporters late on Sunday. After a celebration rally, the pro-independence camp's leaders said that they would now proceed towards the creation of an independent Catalan state.

The pro-independence parties said ahead of the vote that they considered it a de facto referendum on independence from Spain.

They argue that the Spanish government has consistently refused to allow a legally recognised referendum to take place, ignoring an unofficial vote backing independence in November 2014.

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