Spain Set To Remove Catalan Officials From Power, Call New Elections

Spain plans to invoke Article 155, which allows the central government to institute direct rule over the country's semi-autonomous regions.
Posted at 9:58 AM, Oct 22, 2017

Spain says it will take steps to remove Catalonia's leaders and call new elections after the region voted for independence — a move Madrid called illegal. 

Spain's government plans to invoke Article 155, part of the country's constitution that allows the central government to institute direct rule over Spain's semi-autonomous regions.

Catalonia voted for independence earlier this month. Less than half of the region's eligible voters participated, but around 90 percent of the roughly 2.26 million people who did vote supported independence from Spain. The referendum made international news when Spanish police and security forces injured hundreds of voters when they stormed polling places and took ballot boxes. 

While Spain's Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, called for new leaders in Catalonia, he didn't go so far as to dissolve the region's Parliament.

Spain's parliament will vote on invoking Article 155 in the next few days. Catalonia's president said if that happens, he'll call for a formal independence vote in the region's parliament.