MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. The results of the parliamentary elections in Catalonia where the pro-independence crowd gained the overwhelming majority of votes leaves all issues between Madrid and Barcelona open, head of Russia’s State Duma (lower house) International Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky told reporters on Friday.
"In Catalonia, independence supporters received a majority of votes in the parliamentary elections. This obviously leaves all the existing problems in relations between Madrid and Barcelona unresolved," he said.
Slutsky noted though "this is Spain’s internal affair, but the results of the elections prove once again the need for a balanced and constructive dialogue for a peaceful way out of the situation." "It is necessary to prevent a repetition of the October events when fierce clashes between the police and civilians occurred," he concluded.
The decision to have a snap election was made by Madrid at the end of October. More than 5.5 million people were eligible to take part in the election, including 225,000 of them living abroad.
On October 27, Catalonia’s parliament voted for a resolution proclaiming independence based on the results of a referendum for autonomy held on October 1. The Spanish authorities declared the plebiscite to be illegal. The Senate (upper house of the Spanish parliament) approved Madrid’s request to implement Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. This article, which had never been used before, allows for restricting Catalonia’s self-government.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that a decision had been made to relieve Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his government of their duties. Also, Rajoy dismissed the Catalan parliament and called for early parliamentary elections in Catalonia on December 21.