Catalonia crisis

Catalan leader should call plebiscite poll: aid

Catalan leader should call plebiscite poll: aid
The President of Catalonia Artur Mas is expected to outline his options on the question of independence for the region at 10am on Tuesday. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP
The President of Catalonia Artur Mas should call regional elections which would act as a plebiscite on the issue of independence, in the wake of his decision to scrap a planned November 9th vote, a top adviser said on Tuesday.

Mas on Monday called off the vote amid concerns it would lack sufficient legal standing. 

Spain's conservative central government in Madrid had repeatedly said the non-binding referendum was unconstitutional and the country's Constitutional Court had suspended it while it examined whether the vote was legal.

On Monday, though, after a long meeting, the Catalan government said it was now looking at other options including a "citizen participation" route which would face fewer legal roadblocks.

Mas was expected to speak at 10am on Tuesday to outline those options.

Now Carles Viver Pi-Sunyer, a top figure with the pro-independence lobby, the National Transition Advisory Council, has said Mas should call plebiscite-style elections as a way of pushing forward the independence agenda.

"They have the advantage of being a legal process and are very difficult to prohibit. The president makes the official announcement via a decree, which can't be challenged and the programmes of the parties can't be challenged either," Viver Pi-Sunyer said in an interview with Catalunya Radio on Tuesday morning.

"The (Catalan) parliament had a mandar to cal a vote. (The plebiscite elections) would be a new mandate, which is to create a new State," he explained.

The adviser stressed that a victory of independence parties in such an election would not lead to a new State overnight but would begin the process.

The other two options including going ahead with an 'illegal' vote on November 9th and following the citizen participation route, Viver Pi-Sunyer concluded. 

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