Catalonians head to the polls for legislative elections on Thursday that could mark a turning point for the region. The vote comes less than three months after a referendum calling for more autonomy led to a failed bid for independence from Spain.
Catalonians are voting in regional elections that are likely to reflect the prevailing mood on independence. Polls so far suggest that pro-independence parties are poised to regain their parliamentary majority.
The vote takes place against a backdrop of political uncertainty after Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dissolved the Catalan parliament, sacked regional leader Carles Puigdemont and imposed direct rule on the region in October. Four Catalan officials remain jailed on charges including sedition while Puigdemont and four former cabinet members remain in exile in Belgium.
Marta Rovira, 40, of the pro-independence Republican Left party and Inés Arrimadas García, 36, of the anti-secession Citizens Party are the favourites to succeed Puigdemont as Catalonia’s regional president.