Catalan parliament paves way for Spain independence vote

Catalan parliament paves way for Spain independence vote

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The Catalonia region’s parliament has cleared the way for an independence vote that Spain’s government contends is illegal.

Catalan lawmakers passed a controversial bill that clears the way for a secession vote on October 1 despite fierce resistance from the political opposition and central authorities.

The votes of 72 pro-independence lawmakers were enough to pass the so-called “referendum bill” after more than 11 hours of debate that ended with 52 opposition members of parliament walking out in protest.

Regional president Carles Puigdemont’s cabinet is expected to sign the decree officially calling for the vote on a binding independence referendum.

The leader of the main opposition party Ciudadanos (Citizens) immediately announced that the party would seek a vote of no confidence against Mr Puigdemont to force new regional elections.

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