“If Artur Mas gets the ballot boxes out on November 9th, what method would be the most efficient for him to see some sense,” representatives from Spain’s ruling party in the village of Mansou tweeted on Saturday.
The tweet, which has since been deleted, shows a photo of the Catalan leader surrounded by different weapons, including a handgun, a grenade, a broken glass bottle and a grenade.
The aggressive post spread like wildfire on the social media site, spurring members of the Popular Party branch to issue an apology on Sunday and point the finger of blame towards Twitter management site Hootsuite, online daily Público reported.
“We didn’t come up with this tweet, we managed it through Hootsuite and didn’t see it. We apologize,” they wrote.
Hootsuite doesn’t create or send content automatically, and has systems to prevent accidental sending,” the company replied.
On Friday, an association of Spanish judges warned Catalan president Artur Mas that he could face up to 15 years imprisonment for prevarication, disobedience and sedition if he goes ahead with his planned vote on Catalan independence.
A huge turnout for Catalonia’s National Day on Thursday was largely there to reiterate their support for a referendum, with hundreds of thousands forming a giant "V" to demand a vote on breaking away from Spain.
Spain's national government continues to fiercely oppose any move towards independence for Catalonia. It has branded the planned vote illegal and vowed to block it.