The Catalan President evaded the question of whether he has proclaimed Catalan secession on Monday.
In a statement issued on Monday, Carles Puigdemont refused to state whether or not he declared Catalonia’s independence in last week’s plenary session of the regional parliament. Avoiding the question altogether, the Catalan President offered a two month dialogue.
Spain’s Justice Minister Rafael Catalá said on Monday that this response was not valid, the BBC reports.
The Spanish government formally replied to the statement with a letter demanding a clarification of whether or not Catalonia has declared secession, Catlunya Radio reports. Thursday’s deadline was reiterated by the Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria who formally rejected direct negotiations before Catalonia formally denounces secession. She demanded a simple “yes or no” answer.
Under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, the government can suspend regional autonomy and rule the region directly from Madrid.
The Catalan government continues to make the case that the result of the October 1 referendum poll is valid, although only 43% of the registered voters took part. Moreover, the referendum took place under conditions of violence, without secure online infrastructure and proper ballot papers. Puigdemont reiterated on Monday that he has the “political mandate” for independence, which he is suspending.
With an open letter published on Sunday, Puigdemont’s far-left parliamentary ally, the CUP, is demanding the immediate proclamation of the republic. Should the republican nationalist party withdraw its parliamentary support, the Catalonia would go to the polls.