Spain’s Constitutional Court on Thursday ordered the Catalan regional parliament to suspend a session scheduled for next Monday, when lawmakers were expected to vote on a declaration of independence from Spain.
Catalonia’s pro-independence regional government and the central government in Madrid are at loggerheads over last Sunday’s referendum, when 90 percent of the nearly 2.3 million ballots were cast in favor of secession. Less than half of the Catalan electorate took part in the referendum, which saw Spanish police use force to attempt to prevent people from voting. Madrid had declared the referendum illegal.
The Socialist Party of Catalonia, which is opposed to independence, asked the Constitutional Court to take action against the parliamentary session, arguing that a declaration of independence would lead to a violation of the constitution and the “destruction” of lawmakers’ rights, according to Spanish media. The Court said its decision was made with “exceptional urgency.”
President of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell fired back on Twitter against the Court’s decision. “Suspending a session that hasn’t been convened is the new offer for dialogue,” she said, referencing the Catalan government’s claim that the Spanish government has not done enough to hold an open dialogue with regional leaders.