What you need to know about Catalonia’s election this week

Catalonia’s post-crisis election will take place on Thursday following a declaration of independence by Catalan separatists.

The Spanish government is hoping a silent majority will vote for pro-unity parties.

The three parties pushing to break away from Spain may win the slimmest of majorities in the 135-seat parliament in Barcelona, according to the final polls.

Guillem Lopez Casasnovas, an economy professor at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona said:

It will require a great level of creativity and flexibility to get out of this quagmire. Even if pro-independence parties win a majority of votes, the evidence of the last two years show that it’s impossible to move ahead when half of the society isn’t with you.

The ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont’s party, Junts per Catalunya (“Together for Catalonia”) could again become the largest pro-independence party in Catalonia.

Speaking on RAC1 radio from Belgium on Monday, Puigdemont, who faces up to 30 years in prison if he returns to Spain, said that the Spanish government created an atmosphere of “repression and fear” for Catalonians.

He added:

I think we should tell [Spanish prime minister Mariano] Rajoy that his actions do not have democratic legitimacy . . . that we will be the ones to decide when the time has come to pick the 131st president of Catalonia.

One ally of Puigdemont told the Financial Times that he believed charges against him would be dropped down the line and  he would be able to go back to Spain.

An analysis of polls by El País on Friday showed Junts per Catalunya winning 28-29 seats, compared to 30 for the ERC, a rival pro-independence party.

Meanwhile Ciudadanos, the largest anti-independence party is on course to win the most votes, according to the same poll.

The median of the last seven surveys published on the final day of polling projected that the separatist parties will get 47 percent of the vote and pro-unity parties would get 44 percent.

The Spanish government has said that it may be prepared to enter negotiations with Catalan separatists if they secure another majority.

Pablo Simon, a political science professor at Carlos III University in Madrid said:

After the elections there will have to be some kind of approach and or negotiation at least some areas. It’s in the interest of everyone including the separatist leaders who need to stop and regroup.

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